Page last updated at 00:23 GMT, Saturday, 5 September 2009 01:23 UK

Contraception myths 'widespread'

By Sudeep Chand
Health reporter, BBC News

The pill

A UK survey has revealed that myths about contraception may be widespread.

One in five women said they had heard of kitchen items, including bread, cling film and even chicken skin, being used as alternative barrier methods.

Others had heard food items such as kebabs, Coca-cola or crisps could be used as oral contraceptives.

The survey questioned 1,000 women aged 18 to 50 and was carried out by market research company Opinion Health, sponsored by Bayer Schering Pharma.

MYTHS THAT STILL EXIST
Chicken skin and cling film as barrier methods
Kebabs, crisps and chocolate as oral contraceptives
The pill as protection against HIV
Source: Bayer Schering Pharma

Contraceptive myths have been around for thousands of years.

Ancient methods have varied from crocodile dung and honey before sex, to sea sponges and beeswax after.

Perhaps the most intoxicating was alcohol made from stewed beaver's testicles.

However, it seems that a variety of unsafe and unproven methods might still exist in modern Britain.

Dr Annie Evans, Women's Health Specialist at the Bristol Sexual Health Centre, said: "It is not surprising, given that Britain continues to have the highest unintended pregnancy rate in Europe."

Alarming

Other myths surround the use of oral contraceptive pills. One in 10 of the women questioned believed that it always takes a number of years to regain fertility after discontinuation of the pill. Others believed that the pill could protect them against HIV.

Professor Steve Field, Chairman of the Royal College of General Practitioners, commented: "This is alarming but not surprising.

"I've had complications with patients over the years that have concerned me.

"The more we can put appropriate information to the public about the availability of different methods of contraception, about their advantages and disadvantages, the better.

"It is important that access to advice is made as easily as possible for all ages."



Print Sponsor


SEE ALSO
'We want real contraceptive choices'
13 Dec 08 |  Health
Survey shows contraception myths
05 Oct 08 |  Health
NHS in contraception switch call
14 Jul 09 |  Scotland

RELATED BBC LINKS

RELATED INTERNET LINKS
The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites


FEATURES, VIEWS, ANALYSIS
Has China's housing bubble burst?
How the world's oldest clove tree defied an empire
Why Royal Ballet principal Sergei Polunin quit

BBC navigation

BBC © 2013 The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.

Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific