Condoms!

So… it’s time to talk about the most popular contraceptive method in the UK.

Condoms!

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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 sexualΒ  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.

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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.giphy5
  • 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

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Fantastic News!

Here at SexEd we are extremely happy to hear the recent news of Pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) being made available to those at risk of HIV in Scotland!

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PrEP (not to be confused with PEP) is a drug taken by those who may be at risk of contracting HIV, for example those with a HIV positive partner. It is taken daily to stop HIV from spreading throughout the body. Trials of PrEP have been excellent in showing that PrEP significantly lowers the risk of becoming HIV positive without any major side effects. Currently in the UK PrEP is unavailable on the NHS but can be given by private prescription from selected sexual health clinics. There is also one specialist PrEP clinic in London at 56 Dean Street. However, sometimes those who need it have to pay for it if they can’t access it from there local sexual health service and it can be quite costly starting at Β£400 a month.

There are approximately 101,200 people living with HIV in the UK so we think it is an extremely sensible decision that Scotland has made, which has made us wonder why England hasn’t yet done the same? PrEP could be the beginning of getting rid of HIV in the UK- yet in 2016 the NHS decided to cut commissioning of PrEP from its budget, this was taken to court by NAT who historically got the ruling overturned. The NHS said they resisted the roll out of PrEP due to the cost, however it costs approximately Β£360,000 a lifetime to treat a person with HIV. In the long term- funding PrEP has been shown to be more cost-effective than treating someone who has HIV for a lifetime.

Now this has been released in Scotland we’re wondering what’s in stall for the UK in the next year? Let us know what you think email us, tweet us or follow us on instagram!

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Other news published on PrEP:

Take a look at the I want PrEP now! Campaign here

Have a look what The Guardian had to say here

See what the BBC had to say here