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I’m on the Pill and my partner and I have been tested for sexually transmitted diseases (STDs). Can we stop using condoms?

It’s great that you’re using contraception and that you’ve been tested for STDs. That shows that you’re taking responsibility for your sexual health. We recommend that you continue to use male or female condoms for two reasons.

First, the birth control pill is good at preventing pregnancy as long as you take it at about the same time every day. If you forget to take the Pill, the chance of pregnancy increases, so condoms give you extra protection. In addition, the Pill is not 100-percent effective; even if you take it consistently, there’s still a slight chance of pregnancy. Therefore, using the Pill and a condom each time you have sex reduces the chance of pregnancy.

Secondly, the birth control pill does not provide protection from STDs. Research shows that many teens begin relationships using condoms and birth control, but then stop using condoms later on. At this point, they are unprotected from STDs, and while they think their partner isn’t with anyone else, sometimes people cheat. Obviously this doesn’t apply to everyone, but with the added benefit of increased pregnancy protection, why not keep the condoms in the picture? Also, many times STDs don’t have any symptoms, and you or your partner may just be a carrier so you don’t know the STD is present. It’s best to protect each other from the possibility of pregnancy or STDs.

Got a question about STDs? Visit the American Sexual Health Association (ASHA) website or call ASHA’s Sexually Transmitted Infection Resource Center Hotline at 1-919-361-8488.

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