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'Two birds, one stone' birth control?

'Two birds, one stone' birth control?

In the world of contraception, just preventing pregnancy isn'tenough these days. Using birth control methods that also prevent serious infections is considered a wise move, one that could avert both disease and future infertility. A study of fertile and infertile women by researchers in several U.S. states and Canada, reported in the May 8 JOURNAL OF THE AMERICAN MEDICAL ASSOCIATION (JAMA), supports what public health officials have been saying: that barrier methods of birth control, such as diaphragms and condoms, used with anti-sperm chemicals, can help prevent infections that can lead to tubal infertility, whereas intrauterine devices are often associated with pelvic inflammatory disease, which can cause infertility. Though the study did not find overall increased risk associated with the oral contraceptives, the scientists did find a possible association with high-estrogen pills.

Another report, in the May 1 JAMA, says that women who usethe nonoxynol-9-impregnated contraceptive sponge are protected against chlamydial infection and gonorrhea, both associated with tubal infertility. But the same women are more than twice as likely to develop a vaginal infection caused by the yeast Candida than are those who do not use the sponge. All women in the study were from a high-risk population of prostitutes using nonvaginal contraception: hormones, intrauterine devices or sterilization.
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Title Annotation:barrier methods of birth control found to help prevent infections
Publication:Science News
Date:May 9, 1987
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