Yesterday we talked about the common methods of birth control. However which ones prevent STDs? Will all methods that prevent pregnancy also stop the spread of sexually transmitted diseases? Sadly – no. Not at all.
Birth control that prevent STDs
Here are the methods of birth control we covered yesterday:
- Condoms (male & female)
- Birth control pills
- The patch
- Shot/injection and IUD
And now, according to womenshealth.gov,
The male latex condom is the only birth control method proven to help protect you from STIs
Yep – out of a long list of options for preventing pregnancy, only ONE is recommended to prevent STDs (including the HIV virus.) Pretty scary huh?
** Side note – abstinence is still the #1 way to prevent STDs or pregnancy.
Read more about birth control & STD prevention from Womens Health.
One small silver lining – dental dams
Out of all of the methods of preventing birth control, one technique for “STD” control has been developed. “Dental dams” are used to prevent STDs during oral sex, a very common way to contract them. They are made using a thin piece of rubber (many use the surgical supplies created for oral surgeries.) Some may also transform a condom or medical gloves into a dental dam. There are tutorials on transforming plastic wrap into a dental dam, however they don’t provide the same level of effectiveness for STD prevention as medically produced condoms or rubber pads. Dental dams may protect against orally transmitted STDS, including HIV.
I think I have an STD… now what?
Preventing STDs is just as important as preventing pregnancy, even if the options for prevention are extremely limited. While a method might appear to be safe (if it kills sperm, surely it kills disease) – that’s definitely not the case. Fortunately, in the event you do have an STD, there are treatment and testing options. First, find out if you have an STD by getting STD tested. If you do have one, take a deep breath. Many STDs will clear up with use of a prescription antibiotic. And for those that are not curable (HIV or herpes, for example), there are some medications to reduce symptoms and prevent (or slow down) transmission. You can see a physician and learn your options.