What teens should know about condom useThursday, November 22, 2007 – 4:12 pm
Source: Guyana Chronicle
What are condoms?
Condoms are the only form of protection that can both help to stop the transmission of sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) such as HIV and prevent pregnancy. Condoms are usually made of latex or polyurethane. If possible you should use a latex condom, as they are slightly more reliable, and in most countries they are most readily available.
Latex condoms can only be used with water based lubricants, not oil based lubricants such as Vaseline or cold cream as they break down the latex. A small number of people have an allergic reaction to latex and can use polyurethane condoms instead.
The lubrication on condoms varies. Some condoms are not lubricated at all, some are lubricated with a silicone substance, and some condoms have a water-based lubricant. The lubrication on condoms aims to make the condom easier to put on and more comfortable to use. It can also help prevent condom breakage.
Condoms have an expiration or manufacture date (sometimes both) on the box or individual package that tells you when it is safe to use the condom until. It’s important to check this when you use a condom. You should also make sure the package and the condom appear to be in good condition.
Condoms can deteriorate if not stored properly as they are affected by both heat and light. So it’s best not to use a condom that has been stored in your back pocket, your wallet, or the glove compartment of your car. If a condom feels sticky or very dry you shouldn’t use it as the packaging has probably been damaged.
You need to use a new condom every time you have sexual intercourse and never use the same condom twice. Put the condom on after the penis is erect and before any contact is made between the penis and any part of the partner’s body. If you go from anal intercourse to vaginal intercourse, you should consider changing the condom.
One thing that should be noted is that some people are of the belief that two condoms worn together increase the chance for protection against sexually transmitted infections or pregnancy – the reasoning is that if one condom is ruptured the other one will ensure greater protection. The opposite is in fact true: friction from the two condoms rubbing together would most likely cause both to tear.
Finally, a young person who has decided to engage in sexual activity should try not to be ashamed of acquiring condoms, either from free distribution or purchasing them. Keeping a condom or two in reach will ensure that you don’t make the mistake of having unprotected sex when faced with the temptation to do so.
Steps in using a condom
- Check the expiration date. Do not use the condom if the expiration date has passed.
- Push the condom to the side of the package and tear it open. Take the condom out of the package, rolled edges facing out.’
- Begin to put the condom on when the penis is erect, but before any sexual contact. Squeeze the tip of the condom to remove air. Excess air could make it break.
- Still pinching the tip of the condom, place the condom on the end of the penis. Roll the condom down all the way.
- After ejaculation, be sure to hold the condom securely at the base of the penis so that nothing spills.
- Remove the condom, and throw it away in a garbage can. Do not flush it down the toilet.