June 20, 2017

Between remembering to take the pill every day, forgetting to use condoms in the moment, and opting for the wrong types of lubricant, getting birth control right is harder than it seems. And then there are all the flubs you don’t even realize you’re making. To make sure you can count on your contraceptives, be sure to avoid these common birth control mistakes. 

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There are tons of reasons why the pill is popular. Combination pills like LoEstrin and Yasmin are 99% effective against pregnancy if taken at the same time every day. What’s more, they’re also known to ease hot flashes and keep periods regular. But you need to be consistent with your consumption. When you skip pills, this form of contraception declines in its effectiveness. To make sure you’re swallowing the stuff daily--and always at the same time!--set a recurring reminder on your phone.

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And what about the mistakes you may be making in the moment? A lubricant can be a helpful way to get things going when you’re in between the sheets, but oil-based varieties can actually mess with the latex material that tons of condoms are made from. That’s because the oil can work to weaken the condom’s rubber, making it less protective against both pregnancy and STDs. Instead, opt for lubricants made from water or silicone instead.

Curious what other birth control mistakes you may be making without even knowing it? Watch this video to learn about six common contraceptive oops, plus how you can solve each one.