History of Condoms

condom history
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Condoms have been around for over 3,000 years. They might not have been as advanced as the condoms of today, but people still managed to prevent pregnancy. The evolution of the condom is an interesting look at how people made something necessary at the time and continued to advance it to fit their needs. Here is a brief history of the condom. And if you want to learn more about how the world views condoms, try looking at Condoms – Slang From Around The World.

1,000 B.C.

This appears to be the first time that condoms were first used. Early condoms were made of oiled silk paper, leather, linen sheaths or thin hollow horn.

200 A.D.

Cave paintings where found that dated back to 200 A.D. These paintings actually depicted condoms being used. This was the earliest known visual evidence of condom usage. It’s insane that condoms were being used all the way back then.

1500s

Gabrielle Fallopius, an Italian doctor that the female fallopian tube was named after, started talking about the positives of using linen sheath condoms. It was thought that it could be used to protect against syphilis. This was an epidemic in that time period, so it is understandable that condoms would come into play.

1640s

It is thought that farmers in Condom, France started using sheep guts as condoms. This is thought to be the origin of lambskin condoms. It is also believed that this is where the name condom came into play.

1660s

Others think that the name “condom” was established during this time period. Charles the Second was given oiled sheep intestines to be used as condoms. The physician that game him them was named Dr. Condom. Others disbelieve this story and instead say that “condom” originated from the Latin word condus, which mean vessel.

1774

The testing of condoms was reported in Giacomo Casanova’s memoir. He talked about blowing up condoms in order to see if they had holes or tears. This was an early example of today’s condom testing.

1840s

Condom advertisements started to show up in British newspapers.

1855

Rubber came into the picture as a component in condoms. People were falsely told that they could wash the rubber condoms and reuse them until they degraded and broke. We all now know that this is not what you should do when using condoms. Always dispose of a used one and grab a brand-new condom.

1861

For American readers, the first U.S. condom ad was put in the New York Times.

1912

Latex was introduced as a new condom ingredient. This created the single-use latex condom, which were cheap and disposable. Latex condoms were mass produced by the second world war, and troops from around the world were given the new product.

1920s

France was worried about falling birth rates, so a ban on condoms and other contraceptives was implemented in the hopes of fixing the problem.

1950s

Latex condoms became thinner, tighter and lubricated, revolutionising the condom industry. The reservoir tip was also introduced. It collected semen at the tip of the condom, which helped reduce leakage and unplanned pregnancy.

1980s

HIV’s mainstream appearance caused condoms to now be talked about and used more frequently. Condoms were no longer an embarrassment when it was decided that condoms were one of the best ways to avoid transmitting HIV.

2006

Condom sales managed to reach nine billion around the world. Experts also started to warn people against using spermicides, as it increased the chance of HIV. Finally, condoms were started to be made using polyurethane for people with latex allergies.

2017

British Condom created the i.Con, the world’s first smart condom. The ring is put around the base of a condom and tells you statistics about your penis and sexual performance. It also claims to detect STDs.

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Stuart Brown

Stuart Brown

I'm Stuart, senior Editor at British Condoms. I am an expert in all areas of sexual health and have a passion to drive knowledge to youth in the UK. Any questions for me or media enquiries, please feel free to tweet me @britishcondoms. Always open to engagement.

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