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Contraception confusion exposed

Eating garlic will stop you getting pregnant, according to one in five women in this country, an online poll has found.

Widespread misunderstanding of contraception seems to have led 20% of women to believe that using unconventional items such as bread, chicken skin or cling film as a barrier during sex will prevent conception.

Opinion Health, commissioned by drug manufacturer Bayer Schering Pharma, surveyed 1,000 women aged 18 to 50, and found half thought taking the contraceptive pill would render them infertile. About 10% thought that their fertility would return years after coming off the medication.

Women have the greatest risk of falling pregnant during beginning and end of a combined pill cycle, but more than a third of those surveyed thought it was during the middle.

Dr Annie Evans, Women's Health Specialist at the Bristol Sexual Health Centre, said: "It is not surprising that this survey has uncovered how widespread contraceptive myths still are in this country, given that Britain continues to have the highest unintended pregnancy rate in Europe, with as many as 50% of births being unintended. It is vital that women are made aware of the facts, using the credible sources of information available to them."

Copyright © Press Association 2009

Opinion Health