Fingers crossed you already know that wearing two condoms at once is never a good ideaÃ¢â‚¬”but what about doubling up on two other kinds of birth control options? You might be surprised to learn that many women are combining the pull-out method with other forms of birth control during sex, according to a new study published in the journal Contraception.
Researchers surveyed 3,276 women about their methods of birth control within the past 30 days of the experiment. They found that 77 percent of women said they used a combination of the withdrawal method and highly effective birth control (such as the Pill) simultaneously. Study authors hypothesize that these women were trying to "doubly protect" themselves against unintended pregnancy.
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Sorry to burst your bubble, but there's absolutely no way to tell if combining these two forms of birth control will actually increase your pregnancy protection. While it's possible it may offer a little more protection than the Pill alone, your primary method (like the Pill, the IUD, etc.) is really doing most of the work, says ob-gyn Mary Jane Minkin, M.D., clinical professor at the Yale School of Medicine.
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And if you think pulling out will protect you against STDs when combined with hormonal contraception, think again. A guy's pre-ejaculate contains sperm and can be released long before he pulls out, which is just enough to pass along a disease. "The first drop of seminal fluid has the most concentration for sperm," says Minkin. So even if a guy finishes elsewhere, he's already released several million sperm." Not to mention that some STDs (like herpes and HPV) are spread through skin-to-skin contact alone.
If you really want to "double up"Ã¢â‚¬”meaning slash your risk of pregnancy and STDsÃ¢â‚¬”you can use hormonal contraception like the Pill, the ring or the IUD with a condom, says Minkin. While all options protect against unplanned pregnancy, the condom is an effective method to prevent STD transmission. For more need-to-know facts about birth control and your options, head to our birth control FAQs.
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