Contraceptive Technology and Reproductive Health Series: Home Page Contraceptive Technology and Reproductive Health Series Back to FHI Website
Sexually Transmitted Diseases
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Section 1
Section 2

- Objectives
- Prevention
- Education
- Assessing
- Skills Training
- Behavioral
- Couples
- Peer Groups
> Contraceptive
- Dual Method
- Alternative
- Male Condom
- Negotiating
- Reaching
- Correct Use
- Promotion
- Female
- Correct Use
- Resource
- Resource
- Summary

Section 3


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Section 2 - STD Prevention

Contraceptive Choice and STD Prevention

Only barrier methods provide STD protection

  • Male condoms offer best protection

  • Female condoms also offer protection

  • Spermicides may offer modest protection from bacterial STDs

Slide 36

Of all forms of contraception, only barrier contraceptive methods also provide some protection against STDs. These are methods that physically or chemically block the passage of sperm and infectious organisms between partners. These methods include the male latex condom, female condom and spermicides.

Aside from total abstinence or a mutually monogamous relationship between uninfected partners, male condoms, when used consistently and correctly, provide the best protection against both bacterial and viral STDs. Laboratory studies have shown that female condoms block the passage of organisms that cause STDs, but human studies for this relatively new device are limited. One study involving over 100 women diagnosed and treated for trichomoniasis indicated that subsequent, consistent use of the female condom protected against recurrences of the STD.

The extent to which spermicides, including those that contain nonoxynol-9, or N-9, protect against STDs is not well understood. Spermicide use may provide modest protection against bacterial STDs, but has not been shown to protect against viral STDs. More research is needed to determine the protection various spermicides provide.

Other modern methods of birth control (such as IUDs, pills, injectables, implants and sterilization) are more effective than barrier methods for preventing pregnancy, but do not prevent STDs.



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