Do Hormonal Contraceptives Provide STD Protection?

Condom Provide STD Protection. Photo by William B. Plowman / Getty Images

Question: Do Hormonal Contraceptives Provide STD Protection?

Answer:

  • It is important to note that no hormonal method is 100% effective.
     
  • Additionally, hormonal contraceptives offer no STD protection. This means that these birth control methods will not protect you from getting sexually transmitted infections such as HIV, Hepatitis, Gonorrhea, Chlamydia, Herpes, Syphilis, or the HPV virus (which causes genital warts and cervical cancer).
     
  • Using a condom (male or female), in conjunction with any of these methods, will help to prevent the transmission of many STDs as well as offer extra protection against pregnancy.

According to a large international study funded by the National Institutes of Health and published in the Aids Journal, "Birth control pills and other forms of hormonal contraception do not elevate a woman's risk of contracting HIV." This does not mean that we should assume that these methods protect us from being potentially infected. "The good news is that there doesn't seem to be an overall risk of HIV acquisition from hormonal contraceptives," said Dr. Beth Jordan, medical director of the Association of Reproductive Health Professionals in Washington, who was not involved in the study. "Hormonal contraception makes sense, but we also have to use condoms." (quoted from the article Study Finds Risk of Getting HIV Not Raised by Birth Control Pills -- for full story)

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