Sexual Health news - Sexual Health and Behavior

Women on hormonal contraceptives are less likely to use condoms

While hormonal contraceptives can be successful in preventing unwanted pregnancies, they do not protect against the transmission of sexually transmitted infections (STIs) like gonorrhea, chlamydia and genital herpes. However, according to a new study published in the Journal of Adolescent Health, younger females who embrace these birth control options are more likely than those who don't to stop using condoms, which are crucial to preventing the spread of STIs.

Researchers from the Stanford University School of Medicine surveyed nearly 1,200 females during the course of one year who were sexually active, between the ages of 15 and 24 and visited a Planned Parenthood clinic. The survey asked about their feelings toward condoms. All participants had begun using birth control pills, the patch, a vaginal ring or started receiving injections as a method of contraception.

They discovered that 36 percent of the participants used condoms at the beginning of the study, but this rate decreased to 27 percent within three months. In addition, among those women who ceased using hormonal contraceptives, approximately half did not start using condoms again.

The reason for these findings seems to be a result of the participants' partners beliefs on condoms.

"It appears that her partner's feelings may be more important than her perceived risk of a STI or her own beliefs about dual method use," said lead author Rachel Goldstein. "Although a woman feels like she is at risk for an STI, she may not be able to advocate for herself and successfully negotiate condom use with her partner."