Urban Myths on Alternative Contraceptive Methods

Besides the general contraceptive methods, there are also urban myths on alternative contraceptive methods circulating in the society. However, the below methods can neither effectively prevent you from getting pregnant, nor prevent sexually transmitted infections (STIs) and HIV.

Coitus interruptus (Pull-out method)

Coitus interruptus, or pull-out method, refers to withdrawal of a man’s penis from a woman’s vagina before orgasm and ejaculation, therefore ejaculation occurs outside the vagina.

Misconception: The pull-out method can prevent sperms from getting into the woman’s body.

WRONG! Sperms, bacteria and viruses may still get into the woman’s body because small amount of semen flows out even before ejaculation. Other than this, not every man can successfully withdraw his penis before ejaculation, which then causes high failure rate of contraception. Also, the pull-out method cannot prevent infection of sexually transmitted infections (STIs) and HIV.

Periodic abstinence

The principle of this method is to avoid sexual intercourse around ovulation (14 days before next menstruation) when the woman is most fertile.

Misconception: Periodic abstinence is the most natural and effective contraceptive method.

WRONG! Periodic abstinence is natural because it does not rely on any medication or tools. However, it is not reliable for all women. Different health conditions, moods and levels of stress a woman experiences may affect her menstrual cycles, causing ovulation to be irregular. Therefore, the successful rate of this contraceptive method is low.

Sponge contraception

Misconception: Using sponge can effectively prevent pregnancy.

WRONG! Using normal sponge cannot prevent pregnancy at all. However, there are special sponges that are used for contraception. These special contraceptive sponges have spermicidal effects that kill sperms. Contraceptive sponges should be used correctly and placed into the vagina correctly. Many fellow sisters do not know how to use them which in turn reduces their effectiveness in contraception. Moreover, contraceptive sponges cannot prevent STIs. Therefore, using condoms is still a better option.

Hot shower contraception

Misconception: Showering with hot water before or after sexual intercourse can prevent pregnancy.

WRONG! As long as that sperms have entered the woman’s body, there will be a chance that the egg will be fertilised and result in pregnancy. Hot showers have no effect on the survival of sperms and eggs inside the vagina and the uterus.

Vaginal douching contraception

Misconception: Vaginal douching with water or soap after sexual intercourse can wash away sperms and prevent pregnancy.

WRONG! Sperms swim fast towards the egg after entering the woman’s body. Vaginal douching cannot wash away the sperms. Furthermore, using dirty water for douching can cause vaginal infection and vaginitis.

Jumping contraception

Misconception: Jumping up and down after sexual intercourse can prevent pregnancy.

WRONG! Sperms can move towards the uterus by themselves. Jumping up and down cannot stop the sperms from swimming or change their direction of movement.

Other misconceptions

Misconception: Women only get pregnant if they have reached orgasm.

WRONG! Ovulation is not affected by organism sexual intercourse. Regardless of whether the woman has reached orgasm, as long as that the man has ejaculated inside the woman’s vagina there is a chance of pregnancy.  

Misconception: Plastic bags or balloons can prevent pregnancy if there is no condom available.

WRONG! Plastic bags or balloons cannot cover the penis tightly and have a high chance of slipping off during sexual intercourse. Condoms are more reliable and comfortable.

Misconceptions: Some sexual intercourse positions (e.g. standing, women on top) can prevent pregnancy.

WRONG! Some people think standing or having the woman on top can prevent sperms from moving upwards to the uterus. In fact, there is no relationship between sexual positions and the sperms’ swimming direction. Sperms have energy to swim upwards by themselves. Therefore, using condoms is by far the safest and most effective contraceptive method.


There are a lot of different contraceptive medication and tools. Fellow sisters should consult a doctor before choosing any contraceptive methods to prevent any health issues. If you have more than one sexual partners, or your sexual partner may have other sexual partners, you should consider the risks of STIs and HIV.