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Genitourin Med. 1995 Oct;71(5):291-4.

Heterosexual relationships and condom-use in the spread of sexually transmitted diseases to women.

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  • 1Department of Genitourinary Medicine, Charing Cross Hospital, London, UK.

Abstract

OBJECTIVES:

To examine the effect of patient-defined non-regular heterosexual relationships on the incidence of sexually transmitted diseases and other genital infections in women and the role of condom use in the prevention of their spread.

DESIGN:

A cross-sectional study of sexual behaviour reported by a standardised self-administered questionnaire in new patients who presented for screening and diagnosis.

SETTING:

A genitourinary medicine clinic in West London.

SUBJECTS:

938 consecutive newly attending women who completed a sexual behaviour questionnaire in 1992.

MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES:

Variables relating to socio-demographic status, sexual behaviour, condom use, sexually transmitted diseases and other genital infections stratified by the reporting of non-regular partners.

RESULTS:

We found that women who reported non-regular sexual partners were more likely to be single (p = 0.0001), white (p < 0.0001), have had coitarche before 17 years of age (p = 0.003) and many more sexual partners both in the last year and in their life-time (p < 0.0001) and were more likely to practise fellatio (p < 0.0001), anal penetration (p = 0.004) and to be smokers (p < 0.0001). Paradoxically, the incidence of sexually transmitted diseases and other genital infections was no higher in this group than in the group of women who did not have non-regular partners. Increasing condom use with regular partners correlated with decreasing incidence of gonorrhoea (p < 0.001), chlamydial infection (p < 0.01) and trichomoniasis (p < 0.02), but increasing condom use with non-regular partners did not show this trend.

CONCLUSIONS:

Regular heterosexual partners play the major role in transmission of bacterial sexually transmitted diseases to women. This is significantly influenced by use of condoms.

PIP:

The authors investigated the effect of patient-defined non-regular heterosexual relationships upon the incidence of sexually transmitted diseases (STD) and other genital infections in women and the role of condom use in preventing their spread. Findings are based upon responses to a 1992 sexual behavior questionnaire among 938 consecutive newly attending women presenting at a genitourinary medicine clinic in West London for screening and diagnosis. It was found that women who reported non-regular sex partners were more likely to be single, White, have had coitarche before age 17 years and many more sex partners both during the last year and in their lifetime, and were more likely to practice fellatio, anal sex, and smoke cigarettes. The incidence of STDs and other genital infections was no higher in this group than among women who did not have non-regular partners. Increasing condom use with regular partners correlated with decreasing incidence of gonorrhea, chlamydial infection, and trichomoniasis, but increasing condom use with non-regular partners did not show a similar trend. The authors conclude that regular heterosexual partners play the major role in transmitting bacterial STDs to women.

PMID:
7490044
PMCID:
PMC1195543
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article
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