Family Planning: The Responsibility to Prevent Both Pregnancy and Reproductive Tract Infections

  • Willard Cates
  • Katherine M. Stone
Part of the Reproductive Biology book series (RBIO)


Using contraception has two main benefits: prevention of unplanned pregnancy and protection against reproductive tract infections (RTIs).1–4 But technology development, policy emphasis, and service delivery have focused almost solely on preventing pregnancy, with little attention paid to reducing RTIs. Abstinence from sexual intercourse provides nearly absolute protection against both outcomes. For those choosing to be sexually active, contraception reduces, but does not eliminate, the risk of either pregnancy or RTIs. Unfortunately, the contraceptives with the best record for pregnancy prevention provide minimal RTI protection. Some contraceptives may even raise the risk of certain infections. Thus, decisions about contraception by individuals, communities, and policymakers should involve balancing the relative need to prevent both RTIs and unplanned pregnancy.


Human Immunodeficiency Virus Family Planning Human Immunodeficiency Virus Infection Bacterial Vaginosis Chlamydia Trachomatis 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 1992

Authors and Affiliations

  • Willard Cates
    • 1
    • 3
  • Katherine M. Stone
    • 2
    • 3
  1. 1.Division of TrainingEpidemiology Program OfficeUSA
  2. 2.Clinical Research Investigator Division of STD/HIV PreventionUSA
  3. 3.Centers for Disease ControlAtlantaUSA

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