Is Your Birth Control Pill Putting You at Risk for HIV?

birth control pillsFour of out every FIVE women use, or have used, the pill. Like it because it sparked the sexual revolution or hate it because it gives you cramps and mood swings, you gotta admit: It's damn convenient. But new research has found one scary reason why you may want to rethink your prescription. Oral contraceptives put you at risk for HIV.

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We know what your response is. "Wait, whaaa?"

Us, too.

Here's the deal. The hormones in the pill suppress your vagina's immune response, making it more susceptible to infections like HIV.

Researchers from Brigham and Women's Hospital in Boston recently studied cervical swabs and data from over 800 young women (who did NOT have HIV) in Uganda and Zimbabwe. They were divided into three groups: those who used an injectable form of birth control like Depo-Provera, those who took a birth control pill by mouth, and those who took NO hormonal contraceptives.

Shockingly, by the end of the study, 200 of the women were HIV+. 200! It's a significant number. And the reason?

You guessed it. Birth control.

More from The Stir: How Much Do You Know About Birth Control Pills? (TRIVIA)

If you have an existing infection from bacteria, fungi, or parasites when you start taking the Pill, then the micro-environment of your vajayjay is all funked up to start. (Our words! Not the scientists'!)

Once those extra hormones are added to the mix, your vagina just doesn't have the immunity it should.

So what's a woman who likes spontaneous sex but does NOT want to get pregnant to take?

Do your research. Talk to your doctor. Be honest about what you need in your birth control and what side effects you damn sure don't want. It's your bod, so take care of it.

And if you decide to stick with or go on the pill, just keep your V healthy so it can deal, okay?

 

Image © hidesyi/iStock

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