Modern contraception and venereal disease.


Data on the rising incidence of venereal disease and its relation to the use of modern contraceptives is reviewed. The World Health Organization (WHO) has estimated the existence of 100 million cases of gonorrhea annually in the world, and the disease is now the most common notifiable infection after measles. WHO reported a worldwide 90% increase in syphilis since 1960, and nonspecific urethritis (viral) has been reported as common as gonorrhea in England and Wales. Several studies indicate that sexual intercourse is initiated at a younger age and that premarital and extramarital sexual experience are increasing. Over 60% of women with gonorrhea have no symptoms; syphillis is milder in women than men, and nonspecific genital diseases are more difficult to detect in women. The mobile society promotes casual sex which favors the spread of venereal disease. Although reliable evidence is scanty, oral contraceptives fail to provide a physical barrier and could thus facilitate transmission. A recent study of 522 patients attending a venereal disease clinic in Uppsala, Sweden showed that the number of partners and frequency of intercourse had increases for 141 women on the pill. Genital infection was common, and gonorrhea was diagnosed in 67% of 250 women. Evidence further suggests that the pill's alteration of the glucose metabolism changes in the genital tract resembling pregnancy may favor the growth of vaginal candidal infestations. Evidence also indicates that IUDs may increase the incidence of pelvic infection, and the dangers of tubal blockage are likewise increased for the IUD user contracting gonorrhea. The condom remains the best protection against the spread of venereal disease particularly if it is worn prior to intercourse and throughout intercourse.

Cite this paper

@article{Catterall1970ModernCA, title={Modern contraception and venereal disease.}, author={R D Catterall}, journal={IPPF medical bulletin}, year={1970}, volume={4 4}, pages={1-3} }