Can birth control pills protect against STDs?
Is it true that birth control pills can protect you from STDs to a certain extent? I know you can't rely on them for complete protection, but I was under the impression that they lowered your risks of getting certain diseases. Now I'm reading that's not true?
Birth control pills work to prevent pregnancies. They contain small amounts of female hormones that work by overriding the normal monthly cyclical rise and fall of female hormones produced by the body, resulting in suppression of ovulation. It is very important to understand that all sexually transmitted infections are caused directly by contact with secretions and skin during sexual intercourse. In other words, birth control pills do not have any protective effect whatsoever in preventing the transmission of sexually transmitted infections. The only way to prevent a sexually transmitted infection is to use a barrier method, that is to say that you must use a condom. It is highly advisable that all sexually active adults who do not use barrier methods be tested for sexually transmitted infections. As always the diagnosis and management of any particular concern will require a physical examination by your personal physician. If you think you have been exposed to a sexually transmitted disease you should set up an office visit with your primary care doctor as soon as possible.
This answer is for general informational purposes only and is not a substitute for professional medical advice.
If you think you may have a medical emergency, call your doctor or (in the United States) 911 immediately. Always seek the advice of your doctor before starting or changing treatment. Medical professionals who provide responses to health-related questions are intended third party beneficiaries with certain rights under Zocdoc’s Terms of Service.
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