CONDOM. Whatever you call it ... Wear one!

Contraceptives

Condoms are great! Not only can they prevent pregnancy but they can also prevent STIs. When used perfectly, condoms have a 98% or 99% effectiveness rate. But people aren’t perfect. They make mistakes. You will, too. So what do you do? You find your “Plus One,” the birth control method that you use in addition to condoms. So what’s your Plus One? Take a look at the methods described here and talk with your health provider to find the best method for you.

Many of you already know that abstinence (not having sex) is the only 100% way to avoid unplanned pregnancies and STIs. But abstinence isn’t for everyone. When the time comes and you’re ready to have sex, take some more time to prepare your plan for avoiding an unplanned pregnancy or an STI. While the following methods of birth control are not 100% effective, effectiveness rates increase when you follow the directions and use the birth control perfectly. The rates given are “typical use” rates, because people make mistakes.

An IUD (intrauterine device)- This is a small, “T” shaped device that is flexible and is inserted into the uterus by a medical professional. Mirena, ParaGard and Skyla are brands that are available. Mirena can be left in for up to 5 years, ParaGard up to 10 years and Skyla (which is the smallest) can be left in for up to 3 years. IUDs are 99% effective! 

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The Implant (Implanon) - Implanon is a small rod that is about the size of a matchstick and a medical professional inserts it into your arm. You can feel the rod under your skin but you can barely see it. Impanon lasts for up to 3 years and is 99% effective! 

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The Shot (Depo-Provera) - Also know an Depo. This is a shot that a medical professional must give to you. You will need to get a new shot every 3 months. Some say that Depo can decrease bone strength and density so it’s important to talk to a healthcare provider about the shot. The shot is 94% effective! 

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Birth Control Pills - Sometimes these are called oral contraceptives. Pills must be taken at the same time every day. There are a ton of pill brands that have different side effects. Some brands have two types of hormons- progestin and estrogen while some are progestin-only. Most pills come in 21 or 28 day packs. There are also extended brands that come in 91 day packs. Talk to a healthcare provider to determine the best option for you. Pills are effective 91% of the time! You have to see a healthcare provider and receive a prescription to use this method.

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The Ring (NuvaRing) - The ring is about 2 inches across, thin and very flexible. The ring is a monthly birth control method that you yourself insert into your vagina. You leave the ring inside for 3 weeks and take out for your monthly period. However, you can keep the ring in all 4 weeks if you wish and then replace it. The ring is 91% effective! You have to see a healthcare provider and receive a prescription to use this method.

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The Patch (Ortho Evra) - The patch is a thin piece of plastic that you stick onto your skin yourself. It is similar to a bandaid and is a weekly birth control method. Each week you wear a new patch for 3 weeks and then take off for your monthly period during the 4th week. You can choose where to stick the patch and it is 91% effective! You have to see a healthcare provider and receive a prescription to use this method. 

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Diaphragm - The diaphragm is a dome-shaped cup that is shallow, made of silicone and flexible. You insert it inside the vagina yourself.  You have to see a healthcare provider to get a diaphragm. It is 88% effective!

Sponge - The sponge is a small, round piece of white plastic foam and you insert it into your vagina yourself. Sponges are available at health centers, clinics, drugstores and online. You are not required to see a health care provider to get the sponge. It is 76%- 88% effective!

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Withdrawal Method - This is also known as “pulling out”. This is when a guy pulls his penis out right before he ejaculates or comes. This method will not protect against HIV and/or STIs. Pulling out is only 73- 78% effective. Some experts say that “pre-cum” or “pre-ejaculate” : (Which is the ejaculate or cum that comes out of the penis before orgasm) can still cause pregnancy. Also, if you spill any semen near the vaginal opening it can still lead to pregnancy. 

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For more about contraception choices, read the blog on SexEdLoop.com.

How to Use Condoms

Male Condom

  1. Always ask for consent. Make sure you and your partner both want to have sex. Check out our Facts & Myths section. Check out these sections of the website for more information on sex and relationships. Also check out the Sex Ed Loop for more information on Healthy Relationships
  2. Check the expiration date. Condoms should only be kept for two years maximum even if the expiration date says 2016 and beyond! Keep your condoms in a cool area away from direct sunlight and extreme temperatures. 
  3. Open up the condom package. Remember don’t use your teeth or scissors! Just rip gently with your hands. You don’t want to accidentally rip the condom or make a small hole!
  4. Check the condom for any holes or tears. You can add lube to the inside of the condom if you want. 
  5. Now it’s time to put the condom on. Make sure you are ready to go. The penis should be hard and ready for action. Or you can put the condom on a dildo or other sex toy. Make sure you are rolling down the correct side. Pinch the tip of the condom and roll the condom down to the base of the penis before any genital-to-genital or skin-to-skin contact. Don’t forget to pinch the tip! This ensures that the air will be pushed out; you don’t want the cum shooting out of the condom!
  6. If you want, add some more lube to the outside of the condom. Some condoms already have lube but some people like to make sure it is slick for easier penetration. 
  7. When you are finished hold the tip and slide condom off the still-erect penis. Don’t wait for it to go soft!
  8. Tie the condom in a knot or roll in toilet paper and dispose in a trash can. Do not flush a condom down the toilet! They could clog the plumbing and you don’t want that to happen!

Female Condom

  1. Always ask for consent. Make sure you and your partner both want to have sex. Check out our Facts & Myths section. Check out these sections of the website for more information on sex and relationships. Also check out the Sex Ed Loop for more information on Healthy Relationships
  2. Check the expiration date. Condoms should only be kept for two years maximum even if the expiration date says 2016 and beyond! Keep your condoms in a cool area away from direct sunlight and extreme temperatures. 
  3. Open up the condom package. Remember don’t use your teeth or scissors! Just rip gently with your hands. You don’t want to accidentally rip the condom or make a small hole!
  4. Pinch the inner ring into a figure 8
  5. Insert the inner ring into your vagina or anus before any skin-to-skin or genital-to-genital contact. It’s the same way you would insert a tampon or the NuvaRing if you use that for birth control. 
  6. If you want you can add lube to the inside of the condom or directly onto the penis or dildo/sex toy if you are using one. 
  7. Hold the outer ring in place when you are beginning to have sex. The penis or dildo/sex toy will go into the outer ring during sex.
  8. When you are done twist the condom to close the outer ring and pull it out of your vagina or anus. 
  9. Tie the condom into a knot or roll in toilet paper then dispose in a trash can. Do not flush a condom down the toilet! They could clog the plumbing and you don’t want that to happen!

Check out the SexEdLoop.com for more information! 

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Facts and Myths

Bust these myths before you bust a nut….  

Condoms are the guy’s responsibility a.k.a. carrying condoms makes you a slut.

STIs and pregnancy are things that affect both people having sex… so why should one person have the responsibility for protecting both of you??  Two people should talk about protection beforehand, and make a plan. Having condoms doesn’t cause you to have sex… that’s like saying carrying around a bottle of Tylenol causes you to get a headache.  Having condoms handy at all times means you’re more likely to use protection, it doesn’t mean you’re easy, or having sex with every person you happen to run into that day. Once you’ve decided to become sexually active, carrying condoms is just smart. It means you’ve considered the possible consequences of having sex and decided to protect yourself and your partner.  

Condoms don’t really protect against STIs and pregnancy.

No method is perfect, except abstaining from sexual activity altogether.  But condoms, when used properly, drastically reduce the risk of getting an STI, or becoming pregnant when you don’t want to be. There are some diseases that can still be spread, like those transmitted through skin-to-skin contact like genital warts, if the condom doesn’t cover the affected area.

Wearing one condom is good.  Wearing TWO condoms must be better.

Math lets you down here. DON’T double bag it. Wearing two condoms is less effective than one, because the friction between the two condoms can cause tears or holes, leaving you and your partner susceptible to STIs and pregnancy.

Stopping to put on a condom kills the mood.

Condoms add an extra step, that’s true.  But seriously... you can’t wait 20 more seconds??!  This is another reason to keep condoms handy at all times once you’ve decided to have sex. Also: make it a joint effort. Offer to help put the condom on. Practice putting one on yourself, or on your partner.

It’s ok if we start having sex, then the guy puts on a condom before he finishes.

Noooooooooo!! Not ‘just for a second’. Not ‘just the tip’. Not ‘I promise I’ll pull out’. Before a guy ejaculates, he can release ‘pre-ejaculate’, which can mean transmission of STIs and/or pregnancy. Condom on, from the start of sexual contact, until the finish.

Condoms make sex no fun… the guy can’t feel anything.

Condom companies spend a LOT of money developing products to make sure this isn’t the case. Try different brands or styles of condoms, some are thinner than a human hair. Condoms make sex feel different: some say better, some say worse. If it’s painful or uncomfortable, the guy may be using the condom wrong, or could be using the wrong size. Regular sized condoms can fit over your forearm or a size 10 shoe. However, maybe the ring feels too loose or too tight. If so, try out different sizes. Popular condom brands like Lifestyles, Durex and Trojan have smaller and larger sizes available. If you use a large .  Some guys feel like they can last longer with condoms. Oh, and if a guy has been drinking or doing drugs, that can make him less sensitive, so maybe the condom isn’t to blame!

Condoms can be reused.

Do not do this.  Once you open the wrapper, you have to use it or toss it.

No condom? No problem. I’ll just use this plastic wrap. Or this plastic bag. Same thing, right?

Don’t use household items in place of condoms.  Condoms are manufactured for a reason. They are tested for holes and designed specifically to fit a man’s penis. Only condoms will provide the best protection against STIs and pregnancy.

The ‘You Can’t Get Pregnant If… ’

You can’t get pregnant the first time you have sex. If the girl is on her period. If you have sex standing up. If the girl is on top. If the girl pees right after sex. If you’re both virgins. If the girl takes a bath afterwards. If the girl jumps up and down afterwards. If the guy pulls out or doesn’t go all the way in. If the girl sneezes afterwards. If the girl pushes on her belly button really hard afterwards.  If the girl doesn’t have an orgasm. If you’re in a hot tub. If you’re on the moon.  If you’re both wearing football helmets. If you do the Hokey Pokey right afterward… ok SERIOUSLY. None of these are true. Use a condom.

Even if math isn’t you’re favorite subject, you will get this equation.

Penis + Vagina = Baby

Penis+Condom+Vagina= No Baby

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Talk it out:  Have a conversation about using condoms with your partner.  Before someone is naked. Right before you have sex is not the time.

Excuse

Answer

Don't you trust me?  

Trust isn't the point, people can have infections without realizing it  

It does not feel as good with a condom  

I'll feel more relaxed, If I am more relaxed, I can make it feel better for you.  

I don't stay hard when I put on a condom  

I'll help you put it on, that will help you keep it hard.  

I am afraid to ask him to use a condom. He'll think I don't trust him.  

If you can't ask him, you probably don't trust him.  

I can't feel a thing when I wear a condom  

Maybe that way you'll last even longer and that will make up for it  

I don't have a condom with me  

I do  

It's up to him... it's his decision  

It's your health. It should be your decision too!  

I'm on the pill, you don't need a condom  

I'd like to use it anyway. It will help to protect us from infections we may not realize we have.  

It just isn't as sensitive and I can't feel a thing  

Maybe that way you will last even longer and that will make up for it  

Putting it on interrupts everything  

Not if I help put it on  

I guess you don't really love me  

I do, but I am not risking my future to prove it  

I will pull out in time  

Women can get pregnant and get STIs from pre-ejaculate  

But I love you  

Then you'll help us to protect ourselves

Just this once  

Once is all it takes  

Source: http://www.avert.org/condom.htm

Condom Truths to Trust:

Using a condom the right way *learn how HERE “*Click “How to Use Condoms” on the right hand side! * every time reduces the risk of sexually transmitted Infection (STI) and human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) transmission. 

BUT, condom use cannot provide absolute protection against any STI. 

The most reliable ways to avoid transmission of STIs are to abstain from sexual activity, or to be in a long-term mutually monogamous relationship with an uninfected partner. 

BUT, many infected persons may be unaware of their infection because STIs often are asymptomatic and unrecognized.

Consistent and correct use of latex condoms reduces the risk for many STIs that are transmitted by genital fluids (STIs such as chlamydia, gonorrhea, and trichomoniasis).

Condoms may be less effective in reducing the risk for STIs that are transmitted primarily by skin-to-skin contact, such as genital herpes, human papillomavirus [HPV] infection (including genital warts), syphilis, and chancroid. This is because the affected area may not be covered by a condom.

To achieve maximum protection by using condoms, they must be used the right way, every time you have sex.  No exceptions.

Condoms can fail to protect against STI/HIV transmission and pregnancy if they are used incorrectly or inconsistently.

You can get an STI from a single sex act with an infected partner. Use condoms correctly and EVERY time.

It only takes having sex one time to get pregnant. Use condoms correctly and EVERY time. Condoms love company, so choose the method that’s right for you… learn about birth control by clicking contraceptives on the right hand side.

When you use a condom incorrectly (Click How to Use Condoms on the right hand side), it can break, slip, or leak.  The most common way people misuse condoms is by failing to use them for the entire sex act, from start (of sexual contact) to finish (after ejaculation). There’s no room to negotiate this!  Start to finish, every time.

Use a new condom for every act of vaginal, anal and oral sex throughout the entire sex act (from start to finish). Click How to Use Condoms on the right hand side

Wetter is better! Ensure that enough lubrication is used during vaginal and anal sex, which might require water-based lubricants. Click Types of Condoms on the right hand side.

Oil-based lubricants (e.g., petroleum jelly, shortening, mineral oil, massage oils, body lotions, and cooking oil) should not be used because they can weaken latex, causing breakage. “Click Types of Condoms on the right hand side.

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History of Condoms

History of Condoms: 

Watch condom commercials from around the world 

Balloon animals like you’ve never seen them before

A brief history of condoms

 

1000 BC Several thousand years ago, the ancient Egyptians used linen (a type of cloth) sheath for protection against venereal disease
100-200 AD Cave paintings in France give us the earliest evidence of condoms being used in Europe
1500s Syphilis becomes a huge health problem in Europe, and Italian scientist Gabriel Fallopius came up with a linen sheath to protect men against syphilis.  Later, someone realized condoms might be useful in preventing pregnancy.  The cloth sheaths were soaked in chemicals and allowed to dry.  Voila, the first spermicide!
1700s No one REALLY knows where the word ‘condom’ comes from.  It was first published in a poem in 1706 spelled ‘condum’.  Some say there was a doctor named Condom around this time.  It is around this time that condoms made from animal intestines started to become used.  Unfortunately, they were crazy expensive, so people reused them (ummmm gross).  Condoms start to be advertised in shops and with handouts.
1800s In 1839, an inventor named Charles Goodyear (like the car tire brand) came up with vulcanization, which is a way to heat treat rubber and make it strong and stretchy.  This meant that rubber goods (like condoms!) could be made quickly and cheaply.  In 1873, the Comstock Law was passed and made the shipping and advertising of any birth control (like condoms!) illegal…. This is not something we have to worry about today.
1900s In 1919, an inventor named Frederick Killian invented a thinner, odorless (yeah… the older kinds of condoms smelled bad. Maybe like tires?) condom from natural rubber latex.  Latex condoms started to be mass-produced in the U.S.  The first lubricated condom arrived on the market in 1957 in the United Kingdom. Condom use declined in the 1960s as other forms of birth control gained popularity, but use went back up with the recognition of HIV and AIDS in the 1980s.  The female condom was approved for use in the U.S. in 1993, and the world’s first polyurethane condom was introduced in the U.S. in 1994.
Today Condoms are sold in almost any size, color, flavor, or texture that you can think of.  Condoms are considered a drug (a medicine), and are regulated by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). 

You can learn more about how the government ensures condom safety here.

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Condoms of the Future:   

Bill Gates wants you to invent a better condom.

On March 4, 2013, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation announced Round 11 of its Grand Challenges Explorations initiative, calling on innovators to develop the Next Generation Condom. The foundation will award an initial grant of $100,000 for designs that improve upon current designs in some way, for example, by using different materials to increase sensation.

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What might the Condoms of the Future Look Like?? 

One innovative new design is the Origami Condom, which has a totally new design from traditional condoms. The Origami condom company has even designed separate condoms for anal intercourse, and female condoms. These designs still require further testing and regulatory approval, so they likely won’t be available until 2015. 

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Types of Condoms

Male Condoms - These are the types of condoms that go onto the penis. You can also use condoms on dildos or other sex toys to keep them clean. There are many brands, styles and types of male condoms.  Latex condoms are the most well-known. However there are also lambskin and polyurethane (plastic) condoms. These are good if you are allergic to latex. Some say lambskin condoms feel more natural. Some say that lambskin condoms have larger pores which allow HIV and other STIs to be transmitted however no clinical data exists about this. If you feel too worried, both latex and polyurethane condoms have been proven to protect you against HIV and STIs. Condoms can come in many different colors, flavored, with or without lubricant and have different sizes and textures. Flavored condoms are usually just recommended for oral sex because sometimes the flavorings can irritate your skin, especially the vagina.  Brands include Trojan, Lifestyles, Durex, Crown, and Kimono. It is important to remember that some STIs such as genital warts and herpes only need skin-to-skin contact to be transmitted. Sometimes a condom can’t cover anything so be sure you and your partner are communicating with each other and getting tested!

  • Studded
  • Ultra Thin
  • Lambskin
  • Flavored
  • Magnum
  • Latex
  • Polyurethane
  • Snug fit
  • Lubricated

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Female Condoms - The female condom is a great alternative to the male condom. They can be made from polyurethane just like male condoms. There are new female condoms that are made from synthetic nitrile, which has said to be a “quieter” condom.  They can also be made from latex just like many male condoms. The female condom is thin, loose fitting, and has a flexible ring on both sides. The side that is inserted into the vagina is a closed ring and the outer, larger ring is where a penis and/or dildo would enter. Water based lubricants are great to use with the female condom. Oil-based lubricants can break down latex and can cause greater irritation. Female condoms are more expensive than male condoms but some say are more comfortable than male condoms for sex. The female condom got it’s FDA approval in 2009 so perhaps they will gain more popularity as time goes on.  Brands include Femidom, Dominique, Femy, Protectiv and Care. It is important to remember that some STIs such as genital warts and herpes only need skin-to-skin contact to be transmitted. Sometimes a condom can’t cover anything so be sure you and your partner are communicating with each other and getting tested!

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Lube Dos and Don’ts

Water-based lubricants are the safest forms of lube to use and you can use with any type of condom. Brands like KY Jelly, ID Glide, Astroglide and Liquid Silk are available to purchase at many supermarkets and drugstores. Oil-based lubricants can be used with polyurethane condoms but will break down latex and other synthetic materials. Your best bet is to stick with water-based. Do not use lotions, Vaseline or baby oils on condoms. These can also break down condom material and cause discomfort during sex. Many condoms come already lubricated and some include spermicide. Spermicide has been found to cause more discomfort in women and can lead to urinary tract infections. Many condom companies have stopped including spermicide on their condoms due to these findings. Spermicide doesn’t offer any further protection so your best bet is a nice water-based lube. Many brands have fun packaging that offers lube for both men and women promising satisfying sensations. 

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Where to get ‘em

Condoms are everywhere.  Clinics, gas stations, convenience stores, drugstores, grocery stores, even online and sometimes in bathrooms in those little vending machines. Family planning clinics often give condoms out for free. You don’t have to be a certain age to buy condoms. Do a little research beforehand so you feel confident in what you plan to buy.  You can look online at the brands the store carries, or call them and ask.  Then just think of it like buying a pack of gum or a toothbrush…. No big deal. Deciding if you’re ready to have sex and who with is the tough part… buying the condoms is not! Condoms and other personal care items might be locked in a case, but oftentimes, you can push a button in the aisle and a clerk will come to you. It might seem kind of awkward, but no one should make you feel embarrassed or judged. People buy condoms every day, so you are not out of the ordinary. Buying condoms shows you are taking responsibility for your choices and your sexual health.

You can get FREE male and female condoms from: 

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