U.S. high school girls using IUDs less likely to use condoms, exposing them to STDs, new study shows

An illustration picture shows a woman holding a birth control pill.Reuters

High school girls who use intrauterine device and hormone implants are less likely to use condoms, thus exposing them to sexually transmitted diseases (STDs).

A study among 2,288 U.S. high school students from grades nine to 12 published in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) Pediatrics showed that about 2 percent used long-acting reversible contraception (LARC); 22 percent used birth control pills; 41 percent used condoms; 12 percent used withdrawal or other methods; 16 percent used no contraceptive method; and 6 percent used the shot, patch or ring, Reuters reported.

It said LARC users were 60 percent less likely to use condoms compared to girls who use birth control pills. Moreover, they were more likely to have two or more sexual partners in the past three months.

To stem the rise in STD cases, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is now pushing for an increased use of condoms.

"The findings highlight a need for strategies to increase condom use among all users of highly and moderately effective contraceptive methods ... to prevent STIs (sexually transmitted infections)," CDC's Riley Steiner said.

But Dr. Brian Clowes, director of research and education for Human Life International, warned that continued condom use can also lead to rise in infections.

"The recommendation that teenage girls with IUDs use condoms to reduce the probability of STI infection represents the outdated thinking that led to the STI explosion in the first place. Since condoms fail very frequently (about 7 percent of the time, according to contraceptive technology), we can look forward to an even greater resurgence of the most serious infections, including syphilis and gonorrhea," he said, according to LifeSite News.

He said the best prevention is self-control and abstinence.

"When will our public health officials finally come to their senses and strongly recommend the only certain cure to the STI epidemic among young girls, which is self-control and abstinence?" he asked.

Studies have shown a link between an increase in contraceptive use and increase in HIV infections in women.

The increase in HIV infection in women worldwide is due to the promotion of steroid-based contraceptives on millions of women that change their immunities, cervico-vaginal responses and protective vaginal flora that results in STIs, LifeSite News reported.

A study by the Population Research Institute (PRI) showed that women who use Depo-Provera are significantly more susceptible to HIV infection. The drug has been the most widely used birth control in Sub-Saharan Africa, where HIV rates are high.

It also showed that Depo-Provera and other injectable contraceptives made women nearly 50 percent more likely to get HIV.