Widespread belief in contraceptive myths, survey suggests

Britain’s high rate of unintended pregnancies could be down to widespread belief in myths surrounding contraception, experts have warned.

Women listed methods including washing with cola drinks and using cling film when asked about contraception for a new poll.

More than half, 53 per cent, also erroneously thought that using the contraceptive pill long term risked infertility.

One in 10 believe that it can take years for fertility to return after a women stops taking the Pill, even though pregnancy can occur immediately.

And 18 of the 1,000 women asked wrongly thought that the Pill could protect them against HIV, while 15 listed cola drinks and another 15 listed cling film as contraceptive methods.

Dr Annie Evans, women’s health specialist at the Bristol Sexual Health Centre, said: “It is not surprising that this survey has uncovered how widespread contraceptive myths still are in this country, given that Britain continues to have the highest unintended pregnancy rate in Europe with as many as 50 per cent of births being unintended.

“It is vital that women are made aware of the facts, using the credible sources of information available to them.”

The survey was carried out by Opinion Health for Bayer Schering Pharma, the drugs company.

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