Be Careful—15 Surprising Birth Control Mistakes You Might Be Making

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8. YOU’RE CONFUSED ABOUT WHAT TO DO WHEN YOU MISS A PILL.

It’s important not to miss a birth control pill, but what happens if you do? There’s a lot of confusion about this, but try to take the missed pill when you remember, then the next day’s pill as usual. Always use condoms as backups during this time!

9. YOU’RE SICK.

 If you’ve got a nasty case of vomiting or diarrhea that’s lasting longer than 24 hours, it could prevent the pill from being absorbed properly. Don’t have unprotected sex during this time.

10. YOU’RE COMPROMISING THE PATCH.

The contraceptive patch needs to be placed on a clean area of skin that doesn’t have any makeup, lotion or sunscreen on it. This helps it to stick better so that it can release its hormones properly.

11. YOU FORGET ABOUT YOUR IUD.

You might think the IUD is fantastic because it gets inserted and you can forget about it, right? You really shouldn’t. You should be feeling for it regularly to make sure that its threads are properly in place.

12. YOU’RE CLUMSY WITH THE CONTRACEPTIVE SPONGE.

Be careful when inserting your birth control sponge. You should treat it like a condom by not nicking or tearing it with your nails or jewelry. Even tiny tears can increase and cause problems once they’re inserted and during sex.

13. YOU’RE USING ACTIVATED CHARCOAL.

Activated charcoal has become a huge trend and is used for various things, such as cleaning your teeth or detoxing your body. But it can actually get in the way of your birth control pill, as well as over 200 other drugs! That’s not the type of detox you want.

14. YOU’RE RE-USING CONDOMS.

This is just gross, but it happens. A study found that between 1.4 and 3.3 percent of people re-use a condom at least twice during sex. An example would be keeping the same condom on when you change sexual positions. This is bad because it can make the condom less effective—remember, pre-cum is probably getting in there! Plus, if you’re shifting between vaginal and butt sex, it can put you at risk of infections by transferring germs.

15. YOU RELY ON PULLING OUT.

This is not a birth control method, period. There’s no guarantee that pulling out will prevent pregnancies every time, even if the guy is pretty good with timing when to pull out. Still not convinced? Pulling out offers no protecting against STDs or HIV, so you might not fall pregnant but you could put yourself at risk of nasty diseases. Rather choose to stick to your trusty condoms.

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