Leslie Carol Botha: We have allowed the medical system to put adolescent girls on synthetic birth control at an earlier and earlier age – for reasons other than contraception. According to the Society for Menstrual Cycle Research, 63% of girls on synthetic birth control are not sexually active. Be that as it may, the girls on hormonal contraceptives are especially vulnerable to STI’s – mostly because they do not have the emotional maturity to insist that their partner wear a condom. And that is why we are now facing a barrage of vaccines being developed for sexually transmitted diseases. It is a vicious cycle. We are doing great harm to the future mothers of this country. Our daughters deserve a better education about their bodies. They need to know they have more value than what lies between their legs.
Condom Use Drops When Young Women Use Hormonal Contraceptives
Oct. 12, 2012
Young women who start using hormonal contraceptives for birth control often stop using condoms, but a new study in the Journal of Adolescent Health finds that if they later discontinue using hormonal contraceptives, they tend not to resume using condoms. This leaves them open to both unintended pregnancy and sexually transmitted infections (STIs).
The prospective year-long study included 1,194 sexually active women aged 15 to 24 visiting Planned Parenthood clinics and who were starting on contraceptive pills, patches, injections, or vaginal rings and not planning a pregnancy within the year. The researchers collected data on the young women’s beliefs toward condom use and their knowledge of their partners’ beliefs toward condoms.
At the beginning of the study, 36 percent of the young women used condoms consistently. Condom use dropped to 27 percent by 3 months later. Over the year, some women discontinued using hormonal contraception. More than half did not resume using condoms after they stopped using other contraception, according to Rachel Goldstein, M.D., of Stanford University School of Medicine and lead author of the study.
Using condoms together with other contraception (dual method use) decreases both the risk of pregnancy and sexually transmitted infections. The single largest predictor of using condoms and other contraception is the attitude of the woman’s partner toward condoms, Goldstein noted. Women who said their partner thought condoms were “very important” or did not know how their partners felt about condom use were more likely to be dual method users than women who said their partner thought condoms were “not at all important.”
“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 Goldstein. This finding underscores the fact that a woman’s decisions about contraception and preventing STIs may depend on factors over which she has little control. “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,” Goldstein explained.