With the dilapidated state of sexual knowledge in our country, what has made its way into our lives is a big bunch of myths. Yes, about condoms, too. We think we know what’s there to an effective protection but don’t make up your mind before you read the following list. The next time you think of letting one slip off when you are not ovulating or you try to be extra cautious by putting on two, remember what we are going to tell you.
Myth 1: You have to be 18 to buy condoms You can be as young or as old as you fancy to be able to buy condoms. Plus, you can also get them free of cost from community contraceptive clinics, sexual health and genitourinary medicine (GUM) clinics, or from organizations working towards sexual awareness.
Myth 2: No condom is needed if you’re having oral or anal sex Condoms are not only aimed at preventing pregnancy. They also protect you from STIs. If you are not sure about you or your partner carrying an infection, better be safe now than be sorry later. “Condoms are important to prevent STIs, especially when there are abrasions on penis or teeth bite,” says Dr. Rajinder Yadav, HOD & Director, Urology, Fortis Hospital Shalimar Bagh, New Delhi.
Myth 3: Condoms don’t expire Well, they do! Care enough to read the packet and you’ll see their expiration date. Some may say that using an expired condom is still better than using no condom at all but be cautious as this can cause rashes and irritation. The condom can break easily as it loses its flexibility. Don’t rush into bed before you buy a new pack or try being satisfied with a good hand job.
Myth 4: Condoms are uncomfortable and make you less sensitive Studies have shown that this is not true. Couples have felt as pleasurable with a condom as they have felt without it. Though some condoms are designed to delay orgasms, this doesn’t mean that they make you less sensitive. Moreover, what’s more uncomfortable is getting an abortion, or treating an STI.
Myth 5: No condoms are needed if the girl is on a pill “Having pills doesn’t prevent STIs and even pills have a failure rate for pregnancy,” says Dr Rajinder. So, this gives you another precautionary reason to use condoms.
Myth 6: Two condoms are safer than one condom Just using one condom correctly is the best way to reduce the risks of an unwanted pregnancy and STIs. In fact, “double bagging” the condoms will cause friction and can cause the condoms to tear up. “Due to friction, they can rupture and leak. So, one should not use two condoms as there are more chances of leakage in case of two condoms,” says Dr Rajinder.
Myth 7: You sleep with nice people so you don’t need a condom. STIs are not religious enough to happen only to vicious people. Please know that sexual infections can happen to anyone, sometimes even without explicit symptoms.
Myth 8: Any lube can be used with your condom Most of the condoms are lubricated enough to be comfortable for use. In case, you need more lubrication, use water or silicone based lubricants instead of an oil-based lubricant. Oil eats away at rubber and can lead to breaking of the condom.
Myth 9: Condom can be put on in the middle of sex, or right before ejaculation This is not only weirdly uncomfortable but also risks you to STIs. Pre-seminal fluid, or pre-cum as we like to call it, may transfer sexual infections. In fact, sometimes the pre-cum can even lead to pregnancy due to some left over sperms in the tract.
Myth 10: If you’re having two rounds of sex, you need to wear a condom only the first time During every ejaculation, sperms are released. Dr Rajinder says, “The risk rather increases the second time because while having sexual intercourse, there are always minor abrasions to both female and male which increase the risk of STIs.”
Myth 11: Store condoms anywhere you fancy Do not store them in very low or very high temperatures. Keeping them at a place where friction of movement (for example, your pocket) may cause them damage is a bad idea. This can lead to very teeny tears in them but big enough to let sperm pass.
Myth 12: Allergy to latex prevents you from using condoms Latex allergy should not stop you from having sex or force you to have unprotected sex. “There are a few non latex condoms which are available and can be used,” says Dr Rajinder. These include condoms made of polyisoprene, polyurethane or natural/lambskin. The lambskin condoms, though, will prevent pregnancy but will not protect you from STIs.
Myth 13: Condoms are needed only by heterosexual couples Remember that condoms are not only meant for preventing pregnancy. They are meant to also protect you against STIs. So, all the homosexual couples, do not let a condom slip off.