Ah, Valentine’s Day – the day dedicated to all kinds of love, especially passionate love. If you want the day to bring flowers and romance but not unintended pregnancies, Banner Health experts offer some timely advice about contraception.

“There are so many myths that abound regarding contraception,’’ says Holly Bullock, MD, MPH, an assistant professor in the University of Arizona Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology who sees patients at Banner – University Medical Center Tucson.

Bullock outlines some of the five most common myths around contraception:

  • Contraception is only for those who don’t want to get pregnant: By using birth-control pills or intrauterine devices (IUDS), women can avoid having a period or alleviate some of the pain that accompanies their periods.
  • Contraception is only for people in long-term relationships: Bullock said that frequently people think that longer-term contraception methods such as IUDS are only for people who have long-term sexual partners. Your contraception method doesn’t have to depend on your partner, she said.
  • Contraception protects against sexually transmitted diseases: Yes and no, says Bullock. It depends on the type of contraception. Male condoms or internal condoms are the most effective protection against STDs.
  • If I’m having my period, I can’t get pregnant if I have sex: “You can get pregnant anytime,’’ Bullock says. “If there is a chance that an egg could be released and could meet a sperm, then, yes, it is possible to get pregnant,’’ she said.
  • There is one best form of contraception: “That is simply not the case,’’ Bullock says. “We have so many different options because everybody is different, with different priorities and preferences,’’ she said.