Women on hormonal contraceptives are likely to forgo condom use
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Women should know that although the pill, shot and other forms of hormonal contraceptives may help prevent unplanned pregnancy, they do not protect against sexually transmitted infections (STIs). Unfortunately, many women who are on these methods of birth control have a tendency to forgo condoms when having sex, which leaves them vulnerable to STIs.
Recently, a study published in the Journal of Adolescent Health confirmed that young women on hormonal birth control methods do not often use condoms. Even more concerning, was the study showed that these women often do not go back to using condoms once they discontinue using their contraceptive pills, patches, injections or vaginal rings.
The scientists examined 1,190 sexually active women aged 15 to 24 who were starting to use hormonal contraceptives. At the beginning of the study, 36 percent of the young women said they consistently used condoms. After three months, that number dropped to 27 percent. During the course of the year-long study, many of the women discontinued using their contraceptives, and more than half of them did not go back to using condoms.
Furthermore, women whose partners did not consider condom use important were not likely use the form of contraceptive.
"It appears that her partner's feelings may be more important than her perceived risk of a sexually transmitted infection or her own beliefs about dual method use," said Rachel Goldstein, M.D., of Stanford University School of Medicine and lead author of the study.
This is why it's important to educate young women on ways to act as advocates for themselves when it comes to condom use. Women need to be able to talk to their partners openly about condom use and the dangers of STIs.
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