Navigation Links
Research: Military women may have higher risk for STIs
Date:1/28/2013

As the number of women in the military increases, so does the need for improved gynecologic care. Military women may be more likely to engage in high-risk sexual practices, be less likely to consistently use barrier contraception, and, therefore, more likely to contract sexually transmitted infections (STIs), according to research recently released by a physician at Women & Infants Hospital of Rhode Island.

Vinita Goyal, MD, MPH, followed up earlier research into the rates of contraception use and unintended pregnancy by today's military women and veterans with her latest findings. Entitled "High-Risk Behavior and Sexually Transmitted Infections among U.S. Active Duty Servicewomen and Veterans," the study was published in the Journal of Women's Health.

"Studies indicate a high prevalence of risky sexual behaviors - including inconsistent condom use, multiple sexual partners, and binge drinking that lead to unintended and unsafe sex," Dr. Goyal explains. "These high-risk sexual practices likely contribute to chlamydia infection rates that are higher than the rates in the general U.S. population. Human papillomavirus (HPV) infection and cervical dysplasia may also be higher among young, active duty servicewomen."

Dr. Goyal and her colleagues combed existing studies to uncover a snapshot of the sexual practices of active duty servicewomen. They found that:

  • The rates of STIs are seven times higher for military women than civilian women.
  • Only 33% of sexually active unmarried active duty military women reported using condoms during last intercourse.
  • Nearly 60% reported having more than one sexual partner within the last year. A separate study revealed that 27% of servicewomen surveyed reported more than one partner in the previous 90 days. In that group, only 17% reported that her partner always wore a condom.
  • In a survey of Army recruits, 33% of female respondents reported binge drinking in the previous month, as compared with 6 to 7% of women in the general U.S. population. Binge drinking is associated with unsafe sexual practices and unwanted sexual activity among female military personnel.
  • Thirty-one percent of female Marine Corps recruits reported having sex under the influence of alcohol or drugs in the previous three months.

In her earlier work entitled "Unintended pregnancy and contraception among active-duty servicewomen and veterans" which appeared in the American Journal of Obstetrics & Gynecology available evidence suggested that active-duty servicewomen were at higher risk for unintended pregnancy than civilian women. In addition, she said military rules that preclude sexual activity while deployed may serve as a barrier to women obtaining and using birth control.

"(Navy) women reported feeling stigmatized as promiscuous if they requested condoms and believed their male counterparts to be exempt from the same criticism," Dr. Goyal notes. "They also reported not using condoms because if found, it would be evidence that they were violating the military policy that prohibits sexual activity when deployed."

Whatever the reason, the limited use of condoms coupled with high-risk sexual encounters may result in STI rates that are higher than the general population. Even the rates among young recruits are higher than civilians. One study showed that 14% of military women tested positive for chlamydia, gonorrhea, and trichomoniasis upon entry to the military, compared to 8% in the non-military population. In addition, the prevalence of cervical dysplasia, precancerous changes in the cervix, and HPV is higher among servicewomen as compared to women in the general population.

Admitting that detection of chlamydia may be higher among servicewomen because military policy dictates that all female recruits be tested, Dr. Goyal said the study indicates that more research in this area is needed.

"Research investigating the true risk factors for STIs and cervical dysplasia among military women is needed," she says, adding that health care change in the military might be needed as well. "The cost associated with evaluation and treatment of abnormal Pap tests may be averted with greater implementation of the HPV vaccine in eligible military women."

As with her earlier research, Dr. Goyal used her findings to underscore the need for military health care providers to be more attuned to the reproductive health care of the growing body of females in the service.

"Understanding and addressing the needs of these women will give health care providers an opportunity to improve reproductive health care and perhaps lower the rates of sexually transmitted infections among servicewomen and female veterans," she said.


'/>"/>

Contact: Susan McDonald
slmcdonald@wihri.org
401-681-2816
Women & Infants Hospital
Source:Eurekalert

Related medicine news :

1. Breast stem-cell research: Receptor teamwork is required and a new pathway may be involved
2. BioMed Central presents Challenges in Malaria Research: Progress Towards Elimination
3. Research: NCAA football exploits players in invisible labor market
4. Kinsey research: Postpartum women less stressed by threats unrelated to the baby
5. Research: Lupus drugs carry no significant cancer risk for patients
6. Military Marriages Stay Strong in Face of Challenges: Study
7. Study finds US among few NATO nations that use animals for military training
8. Study explores the impact of corruption and military organization on civilians
9. Study explores injury risk in military Humvee crashes
10. U.S. Military Seeks to Reduce Humvee Crash Injuries
11. Mayo Clinic suicide prevention expert outlines new steps to tackle military suicide
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:5/29/2016)... (PRWEB) , ... May 29, 2016 , ... Whole Health ... jaw clipper that has been available via Amazon.com. This new style of nail ... nails. , The jaw opening is approximately 4mm and the actual handle is 2.5mm ...
(Date:5/28/2016)... ... 28, 2016 , ... May 26, 2016- In search of the K. Warriors, ... event of “K Warriors” on June 4, 2016 at Ashbury Hotel and Suites 600 ... sponsored and hosted by Shaolin Institute and sanctioned by KSF (Kungfu Sanda Federation), This ...
(Date:5/27/2016)... (PRWEB) , ... May 27, 2016 , ... Two director-level ... as YWCA Tribute to Women and Industry (TWIN) 2016 honorees. The award recognizes ... workplace. For this year, Geri Boone, Director of the MLTSS (Managed Long-Term Services and ...
(Date:5/27/2016)... ... May 27, 2016 , ... ... installment is bolstered by inspiring human-interest stories, courtesy of awareness-driven celebrities and thought ... industry, from leading advocates, associations and industry leaders such as Bioness. , ...
(Date:5/27/2016)... ... May 27, 2016 , ... Each year ... medicine. Allison Outerbridge is this year’s Life University winner of a ... the university’s Student Leadership Awards ceremony. , Outerbridge is approaching her last quarter ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:5/26/2016)... 26, 2016   Change Healthcare , ... network solutions and technology-enabled services designed to ... into a strategic channel partnership with SourceMed, ... solutions and revenue cycle management services that ... rehabilitation clinics to optimize revenue, operational efficiency ...
(Date:5/25/2016)... , May 25, 2016 According ... by Type (3D, 2D, 4D), by Therapeutic Area (Oncology, ... End User (Medical Device Manufacturers, Hospitals/ Clinics) - Forecast ... global Medical Animation Market for the forecast period of ... USD 301.3 Million by 2021 from USD 117.3 Million ...
(Date:5/25/2016)... May 25, 2016  Zymo Research Corp. announced ... new reference materials that help researchers obtain the ... to analyses. The rapid growth of the study ... to have standard methods to improve the reproducibility ... inherently exist at every step of the measurement ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: