Major Depressive Disorder and Condom Use in Young Adult Females

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Abstract: Major Depressive Disorder (MDD) is a leading cause of disability and can contribute to risky sexual behavior, potentially leading to Sexually Transmitted Infections (STIs). Young adult women face unique STI risks, along with gender prevalence for MDD.

The aim of this study is to assess the association between moderate to severe MDD and inconsistent condom use in U.S women aged 18-25.

We examined National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES) data from 2011-2013. Our study focuses on responses to the depression screener and “sexual behavior” questions.

A total of 302 women, aged 18-25 responded to the depression screener and the “never had sex without a condom question”. Of these, 270 had no or mild MDD and 32 had moderate to severe MDD. Of the women with moderate-severe MDD, 1 consistently used condoms, and 31 used condoms inconsistently. On both bivariate and multivariate analysis this association between moderate-severe MDD and inconsistent condom use was significant (p = .004, OR 10.260 95% CI 1.371- 76.801). After using the complex samples module, this association remained significant, even after controlling for race (p = 0.032; OR = 7.677, 95% CI = 1.202-49.048).

Moderate-severe MDD is significantly associated with inconsistent condom use in 18-25 year-old women. This suggests a need for further research and interventions geared toward treating MDD, but also in counseling young adult women with MDD regarding healthy sexual behaviors.

Related Topics

  • Behavioral Health
  • Family Planning
  • Medical Care