There are some interesting ideas surrounding the use of condoms, some might even call them myths. But, joking apart, they can actually cause real problems and put users at risk. We take a look at some of the most common fables surrounding the use of condoms.
- Two condoms are better than one – this is a big no-no. It might seem sensible to double up on protection but you can actually affect the fit and integrity of the condoms and they are more likely to break rather perversely
- Condoms are easy to tear or rip – providing you avoid anything sharp – teeth, fingernails – condoms are seriously robust. Just because they look thin and flimsy, they most certainly are not. Most condoms are made of latex which is incredibly tough and flexible
- You have to be 18 years old to buy condoms – there is no age restriction on the sale of condoms. Condoms are also free to any age group from GUM clinics, Brooke centres and contraception services. Just bear in mind that NHS free issue is not available in the same range or sizing as those you might buy over the counter in a chemist or supermarket so you could end up with a freebie that doesn’t actually fit
- If a condom breaks then the spermicide will save the day – wrong! If a condom breaks then your partner is at risk of unwanted pregnancy if she is female and there is a chance of contracting STIs for both male and female partners
- Condoms require extra lubrication – you can use extra ‘lube’ but you don’t have to. Also, avoid using anything that contains oil as it can have an effect on the condom actually starting to dissolve it. So its a no to baby oil, most body creams and lotions and hand cream – be aware that lipstick also contains oil. Use proprietary lubes which are designed for the job such as KY Jelly, Durex makes a product too. These are all water-based
- Condoms are the only form of contraception I need to be bothered with – contraception is complicated and there are other forms of contraception which statistically have a higher level of protection such as the contraceptive pill. But condoms can protect against STIs which the contraceptive pill does not so some couples use both
- Condoms deaden the sensation and destroy any pleasure – latex condoms don’t allow the transference of heat it is true and so some men report that there is less sensitivity if they use a condom. There are non-latex alternatives which allow heat to permeate and are supposedly less subject to this criticism but they can be more fragile and tear more easily. At the end of the day, its about experimentation to some degree and finding a condom that works for both you and your partner alongside any other forms of contraception you may wish to take
Be informed and be as safe as you can possibly be.