birth control and sexually transmitted disease prevention device

A condom is a thin cover that is put on a man's penis and used during sexual intercourse. It can also be used during oral sex, anal sex and masturbation. It is normally made of latex. Condoms are a form of birth control, they can prevent a pregnancy. They can also prevent the spread of certain sexually transmitted infections, such as gonorrhea, syphilis, or HIV. Another name for a condom is prophylactic sheath, or simply a prophylactic.

How a condom is normally packaged.
An unrolled condom
A female condom

In 2009, most condoms were made of latex. For people with latex allergy, plastic condoms are available.

The first condoms were made of tissue paper. Later models were made of the intestines of animals, such as sheep. Such condoms can still be found sometimes. Certain people prefer sheepskin condoms over latex ones, because sheepskin condoms can transfer body warmth better. However they do not prevent diseases as effectively as latex condoms.

Condoms are popular for several reasons. They are inexpensive and can be bought without a prescription by either a man or a woman. They can be bought at many locations, and they are easy to use (once the couple learns how.) They have no health-related side effects for either the man or the woman, and they are one of the few types of birth control that also reduce the spread of infections. If the couple decides to have a baby, they can stop using condoms at any time and begin trying to get pregnant with no delay.

But condoms have some disadvantages. During sex, the couple must stop to put on the condom just before beginning intercourse, which interrupts and distracts them at an exciting time. Condoms reduce the physical feelings of intercourse, especially for the man, who cannot feel the heat and sensation of the woman's vagina as much. Condoms can also reduce the emotional closeness the man and woman feel during intercourse because there is something between them. Condoms are less effective than many other types of birth control, and if a couple is in a steady relationship and are having sex very often, condoms can become more expensive to use. For these reasons, once a man and woman are in a steady relationship and are sure they are free of infection, the woman often begins to use birth control pills or some other highly effective contraceptive, after which the couple stops using condoms.

Overview change

Condoms are rolled up when they are packaged, and are meant to be rolled over an erect penis. They are most commonly made of latex, but are available in other materials. Condoms normally have an expiration date on them. Condoms weaken after this date, and may not work properly. Condoms are also not designed to be used more than once.

It is important to know how to use a condom before using one. If a mistake is made, the condom may not work. This happens a lot. When using a condom for the first time, it could help to try using it alone to get familiar with condoms without any danger.

If a man using a condom has anal sex with a woman and then wants to have vaginal sex, he should remove the condom, sanitize his hands, and then put on a new condom. Otherwise, the woman could get an infection in her vagina.

Nowadays women also can use condoms. Like male condoms, they increase protection for partners from pregnancy and STD's. Female condoms look like a sheath with a flexible ring on both sides of this sheath. With these rings the condom is attached to the vagina. It covers the vagina and cervix to prevent sperm from getting inside the woman's uterus. It is necessary to know that female and male condoms should not be used at the same time. In this case, both condoms may rub against each other, and this will result in failure.

The oldest condoms ever found were from the 1640s. They were made from animal and fish intestines.[1]

Condoms are sometimes used during masturbation. Males who are circumcised sometimes use lubricated condoms to create a feeling similar to what uncircumcised males experience when sliding their foreskin back and forth on their penis. Male-female sexual partners sometimes use condoms if they perform mutual masturbation as an alternative to sexual intercourse, or during foreplay, to avoid the risk of semen getting on fingers and then into the vagina where it could cause pregnancy. Condoms can also be used during oral and anal sex to reduce the risk of infections.

Effectiveness change

In preventing pregnancy change

File:A Penis wearing condom.jpg
Condom fully rolled onto a penis
Semen ejaculated inside a condom

There are two ways to see how effective condoms are. They are method effectiveness, where how many couples that use the condom every time they have sex do not get pregnant; and actual effectiveness, where the number of people that use condoms either correctly or incorrectly and do not get pregnant are looked at. Most studies show results of effectiveness over a year.

The method failure rate of condoms is 2% per year.[2] The actual failure rate is different in different places, and the rates can be anywhere between 10 and 18% per year.[3]

In preventing sexually transmitted infections change

According to a 2001 study by the National Institutes of Health, correct and consistent condom use:

  • Reduces the risk of HIV/AIDS transmission by approximately 85%.
  • Reduces the risk of gonorrhea for men by approximately 71%.

Other sexually-transmitted infections may be affected as well, but they could not draw definite conclusions from the research they were working with. In particular, these include STIs associated with ulcerative lesions that may be present on body surfaces where the condom does not cover, such as human papillomavirus (HPV), genital herpes simplex (HSV), chancroid, and syphilis. If contact is made with uncovered lesions, transmission of these STIs may still occur despite appropriate condom use. Additionally, the absence of visible lesions or symptoms cannot be used to decide whether caution is needed.

An article in The American Journal of Gynecologic Health showed that "all women who correctly and consistently used Reality® were protected from trichomonas vaginalis" (referring to a particular brand of female condom).

Causes of failure change

The most common reason for a condom failing is that the user has not put it on properly. A condom can also fail because it has been damaged, because the latex has weakened, or because it has come off the penis during sexual intercourse. Something else that can cause a condom to not work, as it should, is sabotage. This can be when one of the partners wants a baby, but the other one does not. Usually they pierce a condom with a sharp object, making the condom useless. Some people see it as not ethical, because one of the two sex partners does it without the other one's knowledge. There are websites that show how to do it, if the woman wants a baby, but the man does not.

One method of testing condoms for microscopic holes involves placing the condom being tested over one conducting form with another on the other side of the condom. If the condom does not prevent an electric current from flowing between the two conducting forms, it fails the test. Holes in condoms are unlikely if proper handling conditions (see below) are followed.

Body piercings, particularly genital piercings, can sometimes damage a condom. Still, use of a condom is recommended, especially when piercings are new and there is a greater chance of infection because the holes (wounds) are still healing.

Arguments against condom use change

Arguments by religious communities change

Several religious communities (like Catholic Christians, Muslims, and some Protestant Christians) see problems if condoms are used:

  • They say there is a difference in having sex for making babies, and having sex for fun (to make the relationship between the partners stronger).
  • They say that using a condom to prevent a pregnancy is bad. Rather than using a condom, natural methods should be used to prevent pregnancy. Such methods include choosing the time of the month carefully. (This does not stop sexually transmitted diseases)
  • Other communities are not as strict, and only look at the result. They leave it to those involved to choose the correct means.
  • Some people say the use of condoms is against Nature (unnatural).

History change

In 16th-century Italy, anatomist and physician Gabriele Falloppio wrote a treatise on syphilis.[4]: 51, 54–5  The earliest documented strain of syphilis first appeared in Europe in a 1490s outbreak. It caused severe symptoms and many people died within a few months of contracting the disease.[5][6] Falloppio's treatise is the earliest uncontested description of condom use: it describes linen sheaths soaked in a chemical solution which are allowed to dry before use. The cloths he described were sized to cover the glans of the penis, and were held on with a ribbon.[4]: 51, 54–5 [7] Falloppio claimed that an experimental trial of the linen sheath demonstrated protection against syphilis.[8]

After this, the use of penis coverings to protect from disease is described in many different kinds of literature throughout Europe. The first hint that condoms were used for birth control, rather than disease prevention, is the 1605 theological publication De iustitia et iure (On justice and law) by Catholic theologian Leonardus Lessius, who condemned them as immoral.[4]: 56  In 1666, the English Birth Rate Commission attributed a recent downward fertility rate to use of "condons". This is the first documented use of that word or any similar spelling.[4]: 66–8  Other early spellings include "condam" and "quondam", from which the Italian derivation guantone has been suggested, from guanto, "a glove".[9]

References change

  1. "42 Incredibly Weird Facts You'll Want to Tell All Your Friends". BuzzFeed.
  2. Hatcher, RA; Trussel J, Stewart F; et al. (2000). Contraceptive Technology (18th ed.). New York: Ardent Media. ISBN 0-9664902-6-6. Archived from the original on 2008-05-31. Retrieved 2006-12-09.
  3. Kippley, John; Sheila Kippley (1996). The Art of Natural Family Planning (4th ed.). Cincinnati, OH: The Couple to Couple League. p. 146. ISBN 0-926412-13-2., which cites:
    Guttmacher Institute (1992). "Choice of Contraceptives". The Medical Letter on Drugs and Therapeutics. 34 (885): 111–114. PMID 1448019.
  4. 4.0 4.1 4.2 4.3 Collier, Aine (2007). The Humble Little Condom: A History. Amherst, NY: Prometheus Books. ISBN 978-1-59102-556-6.
  5. Oriel, JD (1994). The Scars of Venus: A History of Venereology. London: Springer-Verlag. ISBN 978-0-387-19844-6.
  6. Diamond, Jared (1997). Guns, Germs and Steel. New York: W.W. Norton. p. 210. ISBN 978-0-393-03891-0.
  7. "Special Topic: History of Condom Use". Population Action International. 2002. Archived from the original on 14 July 2007. Retrieved 2008-02-18.
  8. Youssef, H (1 April 1993). "The history of the condom". Journal of the Royal Society of Medicine. 86 (4): 226–228. doi:10.1177/014107689308600415. PMC 1293956. PMID 7802734.
  9. "Condom | Search Online Etymology Dictionary". Archived from the original on 2017-01-18. Retrieved 2017-01-18.
  • Boston Women's Health Book Collective, 2005. Our Bodies, Ourselves: A New Edition for a New Era. New York: Touchstone.
  • MacPhail, Catherine and Campbell, Catherine (2001 Jun). "I think condoms are good but, aai, I hate those things: condom use among adolescents and young people in a Southern African township." Social Science and Medicine. 2001, 52(11): 1613-1627.
  • Kulczycki, Andrzej. "The Sociocultural context of condom use within marriage in rural Lebanon". Studies in Family Planning 35.4 (Dec 2004): 246(15).
  • Crossley, Michele L. (2004). "Making sense of 'barebacking': Gay men's Narratives, unsafe sex and the 'resistance habitus'". British Journal of Social Psychology, 43: 225-244.
  • Watt, Emily (2005 April 24). "Older Adults Shy Away from Safe Sex Advice". The Sunday Star-Times (Auckland, New Zealand).
  • Semple, S.J., Patterson, T.L., & Grant, I. (2004). "Determinants of condom use stage of change among heterosexually-identified methamphetamine users". AIDS & Behavior, 8(4): 391-400.

Other websites change