Bayer HealthCare

Bayer HealthCare

September 22, 2015 08:00 ET

Bayer HealthCare-The 2015 Truth Report: Myths and Misconceptions About Birth Control, According to Millennials

New report in advance of World Contraception Day takes aim at preconceived notions about contraception, encourages women to challenge birth control status quo, and highlights how Canadian perceptions compare to those in European countries

TORONTO, ONTARIO--(Marketwired - Sept. 22, 2015) - Although millennial women own their decisions in most areas of their lives, when it comes to their contraceptive method, a significant proportion are not making an informed choice. This is the crux of a new research study - The Truth Report - released today, just in time for World Contraception Day on September 26.

Despite having greater access to information on sex and contraception, millennial women are not fully aware of the facts, which may be contributing to a growing knowledge gap and low awareness around the most effective forms of birth control. Bayer HealthCare commissioned The Truth Report that surveyed 5,912 women aged 20-29 years across Canada and 11 European countries to find out the understanding and beliefs of millennial women around sex and contraception. The Truth Report exposes a number of myths and misconceptions around sex and contraception that exist across Europe and Canada.

Women's health expert and Toronto-based physician, Dr. Christine Palmay, is all too familiar with the extent of these misconceptions. "I see young women in my office every day and I am consistently surprised by how misinformed they are when it comes to birth control," said Dr. Palmay. "I want women to know that birth control options exist and to be empowered to make educated decisions on what options fit best with their lifestyle. If taking a pill everyday doesn't work for you, then look at a long-acting reversible form of contraception, like an IUS, that doesn't require a daily routine. I also encourage women to talk to their physician about anything they read online or hear from a girlfriend to make sure it's the right information."

Although a majority of women said they would be comfortable obtaining contraception information from a healthcare professional (HCP) about contraception (64 per cent), only a third actually do, and almost a quarter (22 per cent) admitted they never have. Social media and friends were found to be a key culprit in the spread of misinformation with 39 per cent saying they use these sources without checking for accuracy.

The Truth Report - Key findings

Myths and Misinformation: What do millennials believe?

  • Seventy-three per cent of women surveyed don't know the anatomy of their own vagina.
  • Over half (53 per cent) of women surveyed throughout Europe and in Canada do not know that the G-spot is part of the vagina.
    • Compared to 43.8 per cent in Canada alone.
  • One in 10 millennials (10 per cent) wrongly believe you cannot get pregnant while menstruating.
    • Compared to 21 per cent in Canada alone.

Spreading the Word: How are millennials finding their information?

  • Millennial women are using social and online media (20 per cent), friends (19 per cent) and women's magazines (17 per cent) as key sources of information without always checking their accuracy. As a result, they are being influenced by myths and misconceptions around sex and contraception.
  • Eighty-four per cent of women surveyed throughout Europe and in Canada admitted they had shared or would share information about contraception or sex they were unsure was true.
    • Twenty-two per cent of women admitted they never obtain contraception information from a health care professional (HCP); however 64 per cent expressed a willingness to speak to their HCPs about birth control.

Learning the Truth: What millennials don't know about contraception?

  • More than half of women (53 per cent) have never considered changing their current method of birth control.
    • Compared to 46 per cent in Canada.
  • Thirty-two per cent of millennials wrongly believe that long-acting reversible forms of contraception (LARC) methods are never suitable for women who have not yet had a child.
  • Twenty-six per cent of women wrongly believe LARC can harm long-term fertility.
  • Eleven per cent of women wrongly believe LARC would be difficult to remove but in reality, LARC is effective and suitable for many women of different ages and can easily be removed at any time, with fertility returning rapidly to a woman's baseline level after removal.

To learn the truth about birth control, women are encouraged to talk to a healthcare professional or visit www.birthcontrolforme.ca to learn about the contraception options available to them in Canada.

About Bayer in Canada

Bayer Inc. is a Canadian subsidiary of Bayer AG and the corporate headquarters for the Canadian operations. Founded in 1863, Bayer AG is an international research-based group with core businesses in healthcare, crop science and innovative materials committed to creating a better life for all through science.

In Canada, Bayer operates its healthcare business - Pharmaceuticals, Consumer Care, Diabetes Care, Animal Health and Radiology & Interventional - from its headquarters in Toronto, ON, and Bayer CropScience Inc. operates out of its head office in Calgary, AB. Bayer improves the quality of life for Canadians through products that fight disease, protect crops and animals.

With more than 1,400 employees across the country, in 2014, Bayer had sales of $1.9 billion and invested $96 million in research and development in Canada. Globally, Bayer AG had sales of EUR42.2 billion and invested EUR3.6 billion in research and development.

For more information about Bayer, please visit www.bayer.ca.

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