STD Risk Increases in Women Who Use Long-term Contraceptives
We usually think that in the decades before the Sexual Revolution, there were far less cases of teen pregnancy in the United States. But according to the CDC, the teen pregnancy rate in has dropped steadily in the U.S. since the 1950s. Even so, it is still far higher than most other developed countries. There are lots of reasons for this decline including better sex education, the sheer breadth of birth control options, and that protection is widely available. Some options that have gained in popularity in recent years include hormonal implants and intrauterine devices (IUDs).
Although they are very effective in preventing unwanted pregnancy, they do nothing to protect against STDs. The problem is, some couples for whatever reason, may forgo a condom, if this method of birth control is employed. The fact is, STDs have been on the rise, including some worrisome ones, like antibiotic resistant gonorrhea. The most effected population are those between ages 15 and 24. But an uptick in all demographics, including seniors, has taken place.
The 2013 national Youth Risk Behavior Survey assessed sexually active teens on condom and other contraceptive use. Researchers conducting the survey asked during their last bout of sexual intercourse what birth control method young women used. Researchers inquired about condoms, birth control pills, IUDs, and hormonal implants or injections. Another question was whether they had used a condom during their last sexual encounter. 2,300 teen girls answered the survey. 57% were Caucasian. 34% were seniors in high school. Of those who used long-term contraception, 16% said they never used condoms.
Researchers hypothesized that those using long-term contraceptive methods would be less likely to opt for or push for a condom, and more likely to contract an STD. They were right. These young women were 60% less likely to use condoms. The takeaway is no matter what your age or the stage you are at in your love life, if you are going to have sex outside a long-term, monogamous relationship, use a condom. What’s more, all sexually active adults should be tested once a year for STDs. If your time is up, be sure to go see a doctor or urologist and get screened.