Condom Education

FAQs

A: Nobody knows exactly when condoms first came into use. We do know that it was a long time ago—probably as far back as ancient Egypt. The first condoms were made of treated linen, leather or even animal horn. As you can imagine, they weren’t very comfortable or effective.

In the late 1400s, the first documented outbreak of syphilis took place among French soldiers. Doctors prescribed primitive condoms and noted that none of the men who used them contracted the disease. Through the ensuing decades, condoms were alternately hailed as saviors of reproductive health and banned as irresponsible contraceptive devices.

Made from unusual materials, condoms were prohibitively expensive for most people in the world. A single linen condom could cost a month’s wages for those in the lower classes. Unwanted pregnancies and venereal diseases remained major, if seldom mentioned, problems until Goodyear discovered vulcanized rubber.

Sexual health pioneers in the United States and Britain championed the use of the cheaper and more reliable rubber condoms and the stage was set for the devices we know today. Our modern latex condoms may not look much like the linen or horn ones of yesteryear, but they remain they only reliable way to avoid most sexually transmitted diseases.

A: Condoms can only protect you if you use them the right way. For starters, make sure you’re storing them correctly. Latex becomes brittle when exposed to light or heat, so keep your condoms in a cool dark place like a closet. Don’t remove them from their storage place or their packaging until you’re ready to use them. It’s also important to check their expiry date regularly. Replace expired condoms immediately. The Ride Doggie Style Condoms Dollar Condom Club is a great way to make sure that you always have fresh ones available.

When it’s time for action, put on the condom before touching any part of your partner’s body with your genitals. Tear the package carefully. Don’t use any sharp objects that might damage the condom itself. Once you’ve got it out of the packaging, it’s important to find which way the condom will unroll. If you put it on inside out, you’ll waste it.

Once you know which way is up, place it onto the head of your penis. Pinch the reservoir at the end to create space for the semen and then unroll the edges carefully all the way to the base of the penis. The condom should fit snugly, without any air bubbles or loose sections. If you’re using a lubricant, make sure it’s not oil or petroleum based, as these will damage the condom.

When you’ve finished, remove the condom carefully, seeing that no semen spills. Tie it off in a way that will prevent leakage, wrap it in tissue and throw it away.

If you ignore or botch any of these steps, you run the risk of catching an STD or getting your partner pregnant.

A: Condoms are the single most effective way to protect yourself from diseases like HIV/AIDS, chlamydia and gonorrhea. If no bodily fluids transfer from one partner to another, these diseases won’t transfer either. So in that respect, a properly used condom is 100% effective.

The same goes for pregnancy. Sperm must enter a woman’s reproductive system in order for an embryo to form. A condom prevents this from happening.

Of course there are always exceptions. If you don’t use your condom correctly, or if it breaks, all bets are off. There are also some diseases that are communicated by skin-to-skin contact rather than the transmission of bodily fluids. These include syphilis, herpes and HPV. Although condoms can provide some protection against these diseases, they are not foolproof.

A: Yes. In many cases, condoms are the only reliable way to protect yourself. Condoms are an effective way to prevent diseases like chlamydia, gonorrhea and the HIV/AIDS virus. The exceptions are diseases transmitted by skin-to-skin contact, like herpes.

A: By the time they reach the age of 25, nearly half of sexually active adults in the world will have contracted an STD. Still think you don’t need to wear Ride Doggie Style condoms? If that wasn’t already bad enough, most disease carriers have no idea that they’re infected. Doctors estimate that 90 percent of those with herpes don’t know they carry the infection. Wear a condom every time you have sexual activity.

A: Sperm must reach an egg in order to create an embryo. Condoms, when properly used, prevent any exchange of bodily fluids during intercourse. Sperm never gets anywhere near the eggs and pregnancy becomes impossible.

A: In 2011, 45 percent of the pregnancies reported in the United States were unplanned. Almost 5 percent of reproductively viable women experience an unplanned pregnancy each year.

A: Women tend to miss their periods, experience breast tenderness and feel unusually tired in the days and weeks after conception. These symptoms can be caused by other factors as well, however. If you’re wondering whether you’re pregnant or not, take a pregnancy test. This is the only way to be sure in the early stages.

A: National governments and health organizations provide many resources for expectant mothers, including those with unplanned pregnancies. It’s a good idea to contact one of these groups to explore your options. See our list of links and resources if you’re looking for a place to start.

A: Yes. It’s vital that condoms fit snugly and comfortably. If a condom is too loose, too tight or too short it may break and cause STD transmission or unplanned pregnancy. Find which size works best for you and consistently use that variety.

A: The vast majority of modern condoms are made of latex. There are many variations on this theme, however. To fit the preferences of their customers, manufacturers produce condoms with ribs, studs and other tactile features. Some condoms are flavored. Others feature constrictive devices to help men last longer.

Resources & Links

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