thumbnail to video where Alix Fox answers question

From causing your body to balloon to increasing chances of infertility, there are a lot of myths surrounding the contraceptive pill – spoiler… both of the above are inaccurate! When you start taking any new medicine, it’s important that you’re properly informed and you don’t have any rumours clouding your judgement. That’s why we’ve asked Superdrug sexpert Alix Fox debunk all those myths you may have heard about the contraceptive pill.

Are there any health risks that come with the contraceptive pill?

Read the information leaflet for any medication and you’ll find a list of scary side-effects as long as your arm. When it comes to the Pill, especially the more modern ones we have now, there really isn’t much to worry about. It will all depend on which one you’re taking and your own body, so talk to a medical professional, like your GP or a pharmacist, and they’ll be able to give you personal advice.

Does the Pill affect your weight?

Older forms of the Pill contained higher levels of oestrogen, a hormone that can cause you to retain water and increase your appetite – both of which would contribute to weight gain. Good news is that more modern versions of the Pill have lower levels, so you shouldn’t notice a thing!

Are you more likely to get spots if you take the Pill?

Some forms of the Pill are progestogen only and can cause flare-ups in acne, but others are actually prescribed as treatment for those pesky pustules. As with most pill problems, it really depends on which one you take, so if spots are a concern, let your doctor know and they’ll be able to advise you. 

If you stop taking the Pill, can you get pregnant straightaway?

Yep! If you decide to pack in the Pill, you can become fertile immediately. Most women find that it takes 2-4 weeks for their menstrual cycle to return to normal, but you can still get pregnant. If you don’t want a baby, make sure you either use a condom of get another form of contraception.

Does the Pill increase your chances of being infertile?

This one is a big fat no! Studies show that even long-term use of the Pill won’t affect your fertility. You may find it takes time for your periods to settle back into a regular pattern and you might not conceive straightaway, but rest assured the Pill won’t affect your chances of having a baby.

Am I still protected against unwanted pregnancy if I forget to take it?

This is another one of those annoying ‘it depends’ questions. The main thing is not to panic as we’ve all been there when we’ve stayed at a mate’s house or had a brain fart and forgotten to take our pill. There are just three things to take into consideration:

  1. What pill you’re taking
  2. How late you are with the pill you’ve missed
  3. How far along you are in your pack of pills

There should be a leaflet in your box of pills which should tell you what to do if you forget to take one. If it’s still a concern, ask your doctor for their advice.

What happens if you accidentally take the pill twice in one day?

Don’t worry! It may leave you feeling a little nauseous, but nothing bad will happen. Just carry on taking your pill as normal the day after.

How can I get my hands on the contraceptive pill?

The contraceptive pill is a prescribed medication, so you can get it from your GP, a sexual health or family planning clinic and even some youth centres. If you find getting appointments difficult or you simply don’t have the time, you can get them prescribed through Superdrug’s Online Doctor.

Click here to find out more about contraception