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Condoms cut risk of pelvic disease

Consistent condom use can help prevent recurrence of pelvic inflammatory disease in women who are at a higher risk of the infection.

Condoms cut risk of pelvic disease

Consistent condom use can help prevent recurrence of pelvic inflammatory disease(PID) in women who are at a higher risk of the infection.PID is an infection of the pelvic organs, the symptoms of which can include lower abdominal pain, irregular menstrual bleeding or discharge, fever and vomiting. Or it may cause no symptoms at all. Untreated PID can lead to complications such as chronic pelvic pain and infertility.To see whether condom use cuts the risk of recurrent PID, researchers from the University of Pittsburgh's Graduate School of Public Health, followed females between the ages of 14 and 37 who had symptoms of PID at the study's start. The women were interviewed every few months, over an average of three years, about their use of contraceptives and condoms.
The researchers found that women who said they used condoms at least 60 per cent of the time were half as likely to develop PID again as compared to those who never used them. They were also 60 per cent less likely to become infertile.Women in the study were considered consistent condom users if they used them during at least six out of every 10 sexual encounters. However, using condoms most of the time, rather than every time, is still a risky proposition outside of a monogamous relationship where neither partner has a sexually transmitted disease (STD).The findings give the first clear evidence that consistent condom use cuts the risk of bacterial and not only viral STDs. Though various bacteria can cause PID, most cases arise from the sexually transmitted bacterial infections like gonorrhoea and chlamydia.It's well established that condom use lowers the odds of HIV transmission. But there had been no previous prospective studies looking at whether condoms can prevent bacterial STDs. Prospective studies follow a group of people over time to try to establish cause-and-effect relationships. The latest findings close a gap in the research on condoms and STDs.
American Journal of Public Health,
June 2004
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