What better day to post a blog about condoms, than on National Condom Day!
- Condoms are around 98% effective when used correctly, but more realistically their effectiveness decreases to around 82% in the real world due to human error. New research shows that young people often feel over-confident about their condoms skills, although they often use them incorrectly*. Make sure you know how to use a condom correctly, and practise putting one on (in private or with a partner)!
- Condoms are the ONLY contraceptive method that also protect against sexually transmissible infections (STIs). Condoms act as a barrier against the transmission of infections such as chlamydia and gonorrhoea.
- Condoms need to be stored in a cool, dry place – unlike the commonly promoted condom in the wallet or glovebox of the car! Make sure you look after your condoms, otherwise they won’t be as effective.
- Check the date! Yes that’s right, condoms expire! If you’re planning on getting intimate with a partner, make sure you check the condoms you have are in date and ready to go.
- Be careful opening a condom, and of any sharp objects being around one (such as long fingernails). Any tears in a condom significantly decrease its effectiveness.
- If you’re using lube, make sure it’s water-based. Never use an oil-based lube (such as Vaseline or massage oils) with condoms as this increases the likelihood that they will break.
- If you put a condom on the wrong way, don’t turn it the right way and continue to use it. This can cause the transmission of an STI as well as pre-cum (which can lead to pregnancy), so if you do make a mistake, open a new condom and check before you put it on.
- Allergic to latex? Not a problem! Latex free condoms are widely available at many pharmacies and supermarkets. If you’re not sure which condoms to use, ask your healthcare professional.
- There’s a female condom too! Made in a similar material to the male condom, female condoms are put into the vagina and can be inserted prior to sex. Although not as widely available as male condoms, they are available from some pharmacies and sexual health clinics.
- Sex with condoms is not boring, embarrassing or any less pleasurable! Have fun using condoms during sex. You could offer to put it on for your partner during foreplay, or experiment with flavoured or coloured condoms.
Now you’ve read our top ten condom tips, make sure you have condoms handy and know how to put them on correctly. If you are getting intimate with a partner, make sure you’re both having a good time. Remember to have the confidence to choose when, where and who you have sex with. Enjoy your National Condom Day!
* Hall, K. M., Brieger, D. G., De Silva, S. H., Pfister, B. F., Youlden, D. J., John-Leader, F., & Pit, S. W. (2016). Errors and predictors of confidence in condom use amongst young Australians attending a music festival. Journal of Sexually Transmitted Diseases, 2016, 1-10. http://dx.doi.org/10.1155/2016/605-4870