So… it’s time to talk about the most popular contraceptive method in the UK.
You may already know that condoms come in a variety of sizes, colours, shapes, textures and even flavours, but the aim of this blog is to expel any myths you may have heard about condoms and show you how important they are!!
So, let’s start with what they are (for those of you who have been living on another planet.) Condoms are thin, stretchy latex things that go over the penis to protect the penis from infection and prevent unwanted pregnancies. There are also Femedoms for females (more about those in another blog.)
What if I’m allergic to latex? Do not fear! Latex free condoms are also available and can be found here!
What are they used for I hear you ask? Well, they are used to protect the penis from sexually transmitted infections, or prevent the penis passing any infections on to their sexual partner. The condom only protects the part of the penis it is covering so there is still a chance you could catch genital warts, herpes or public lice. They are also used to protect women from becoming pregnant as the condom stops the semen from entering the vagina.
The condom is the only way of protecting yourself from STI’s and has an efficacy rate of 98% providing you use them correctly. You can see how to put a condom on correctly here.
Believe it or not; there are a number of myths that surround condoms and we want to help clear them up for you!
- Using two condoms (also known as double bagging) is not better than using one. Using two condoms can increase the chances of the condom breaking due to friction between the two condoms. If you are worried about getting pregnant, use a back up contraceptive method such as the pill.
- You do not have to be 18 to buy condoms, you can get them in many places such as chemists and high street shops such as Boots and Superdrug. If you don’t have money spare to buy condoms your local sexual health service will provide them free of charge.
- Over the years people have used a range of beauty products as lubricant such as vaseline, lipstick, sun cream, body lotion and sun cream. None of these things should be used with a condom as the oil in them can weaken the rubber and cause it to break. If you need extra lubricant a water based one is most suitable, or even saliva if you’re out of lube.
- Condoms should also be used during oral sex, this can prevent transmission of chlamydia, gonorrhoea and herpes to the throat. These infections can all be passed orally so to ensure you do not catch one, use a condom.
- As I mentioned before, condoms come in all shapes and sizes. Therefore if your partner says “I’m to big for condoms” or “they don’t do them in my size” ignore him, he’s lying. You can always find suitable condoms no matter the shape or size of the penis.
- Condoms do expire! Before you engage in any sexual activity always check the expiration date on the packet. Using out of date condoms can result in the condom tearing due to weakening of the latex.
- Consistently using condoms provides significant protection from HIV.
- It is a myth that condoms make sex less enjoyable- in fact it can enhance your sex life. It has been proven that men are likely to last longer when wearing a condom. If you do experience discomfort when wearing a condom there may be an issue with the size and you should try an alternative size. There are tips on how to enjoy sex whilst using a condom here.
So, remember condoms are important for protection against unwanted pregnancies and sexually transmitted infections and they have a high efficacy rate! Please use them.
We would like to thank our good friend Rebecca for her contribution towards this blog.
If you have any questions about condoms or any think we’ve missed any information please email us and let us know!
Thanks for reading!
Sex Ed x