Did you know that condoms have been around since 1642? When Ross got Rachel pregnant in FRIENDS, it was a shock to most - condoms aren’t 100% effective and it says so on the box! Nonetheless, there is no better form of protection than condoms. They protect you against both sexually transmitted diseases and unwanted pregnancies. Trust me when I say that not many forms of protection can give you that combination - not birth control pills, not contraceptive implants and not even intrauterine devices.
But as a beginner, we all have a million questions about condoms, especially the types of condoms, and when you should use which one. So, we’re here to help you clear all your doubts about condoms. Once you’re done with this article, you’ll know everything there is to know about condoms - including how to use one, what to do if a condom breaks and mistakes to avoid!
This has to be the most important reason for using condoms. You shouldn’t have to abstain from sex just because you don’t want babies and that’s exactly what birth control methods are for. If you’re on some other method of control, adding condoms to the list will only reduce the risk of unwanted pregnancies.
A benefit that only condoms as a form of birth control can provide. All other methods of contraception may prevent pregnancies, but they do nothing to reduce the risk of STDs, including HIV, gonorrhoea, chlamydia, trichomoniasis and all such infections.
The side effects of condoms are next to nothing, except if you are allergic to latex and even that can be helped with non-latex options. Compared to IUDs, pills, shots or rings, condoms are the safest to use since they do not involve doses of hormones and are for one-time use only.
Here are the steps to using a condom in the most effective manner to reduce the chances of unwanted STIs or pregnancies.
There is a possibility of your condom having tears before you’ve used it. This happens because of improper storage, expiration of condom or incorrect opening of the packet. So before you put on the condom, take a minute to check it for rips. You can do this by pressing slightly on the wrapper. You should be able to feel air resistance when you do so, which means the condom is good to go.
If you take out the condom and it is dry, stiff or extra sticky, it could mean that the condom wasn’t stored properly. Also, make sure you put it on correctly and use a lot of lubricant during sex to avoid any accidents.
It is actually pretty easy to tell if the condom has ripped. Usually, the tear is pretty visible and mostly the ripping sound can be heard. However, if in the heat of the moment, you did not focus enough to notice anything, you can always find out later since a torn condom will leak.
Even the most level-headed person can go into a panic on realizing the condom has ripped during sex. But this is the time you need to stay calm and take certain precautionary steps to ensure that nothing goes wrong.
1) The first thing you need to do is take an emergency contraceptive pill like iPill as soon as possible to reduce any chances of getting pregnant.
2) You also need to get yourself and your partner to your nearest clinic and get yourself checked for HIV and other infections. Just like emergency contraceptive pills, there are also courses of medicine that can be immediately administered as a preventive measure.
3) If you still miss a period after the session in which your condom broke, take an at-home pregnancy test to see if you’re pregnant.
Now that you have educated yourself about the types of condoms and its uses, have a pleasurable, safe sex life!
Images: Shutterstock, Giphy
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This story was updated in January 2019.