which touched during intercourse. About all the female can do is make sure the male follows these instructions. There is no prophylactic kit for her, and douching is not particularly helpful. The least she can do is urinate soon after intercourse, wash all exposed areas with soap, and dry thoroughly. These instructions may seem unrealistic and following them a nuisance, but there is nothing unrealistic about the disease.41
Venereal diseases are destructive and the probability of infecting others is very great. They often do not reveal themselves in clear clinical symptoms. If we are to be responsible about our sexual behavior, we must take the threat of VD seriously. A person should take every prophylactic measure possible. Some physicians are sufficiently alarmed by the problem to recommend taking a penicillin tablet before intercourse or within six hours after. Anyone who is not sexually monogamous should have a blood test every six months for syphilis and gonorrhea. A person who suspects that he has been exposed to the disease should seek diagnosis immediately.
Contraception is not synonymous with birth control. This chapter has treated four major techniques to control birth: contraception, sterilization, abstinence, and abortion. Each one has its place as an effective and appropriate technique given the circumstances under which the decision to use a particular birth control method must be made. Obviously, it is better--if one is going to prevent birth--to do so before conception. Since the effects of contraceptives are generally reversible, contraceptives are likely to be preferred over sterilization in most cases. Abortion is more risky and raises many more ethical issues, but it too has its place as a means of birth control. For some individuals abstinence may be the preferable form.
The most reliable contraceptives require a doctor's prescription. Both the pill and the IUD are theoretically one hundred percent effective and nearly reach this theoretical efficiency in certain populations. However, not everyone can use them and so the diaphragm or cervical cap, both of which are slightly less effective in practice, may be the best option.
Of those contraceptives available without a prescription, the condom is the most effective and has an added benefit of providing some protection against venereal disease. Spermicidal substances vary greatly in their effectiveness and tend to interfere with the process of making love. Douches are virtually ineffective. Since only a third of all women have menstrual cycles regular enough to make the use of the rhythm method effective, about all that can be said for this technique as a contraceptive is that it is the only one officially endorsed by the Roman Catholic Church.____________________