July 1st, 2016
Healthcare providers and non-government agencies strongly promotes the use of condoms – the most widely used physical barrier method for birth control. Besides minimizing unwanted pregnancies, condoms are also helpful at reducing the risk of transmission of sexually transmitted infections as well as serious diseases like HIV/ AIDs.
According to a new report released by Planned Parenthood Federation of America; following are some of the lesser known facts about condoms that most Americans are unaware of:
According to a study reported in the scientific journal The Journal of Sex Research (1), investigators suggested that condoms make sexual intercourse 10,000 safer for the user against HIV/AIDS compared to unprotected sex. In addition, condoms are effective in about 98% cases against unwanted pregnancies.
Unlike most popular birth control methods and contraceptives, there are no contraindications to the use of condoms. In other words, literally anyone can use them for STD protection or birth control. In addition, there are no side effects or adverse effects of using this method. Even individuals with known history of latex allergy can also use condoms manufactured from other materials (such as polyisoprene or polyurethane).
Condoms have been in use since 11,000 BC. According to some studies, earliest manifestations of condom use were observed on a painting drawn on a French cave that is believed to be 12,000 to 15,000 years old (2). Back in the days, before the discovery of latex, they were created with the mucus membrane obtained from the bladder of animals. Other common materials besides animal bladder membrane were linen, fish skin, silk and leather.
In the United States, at least one in four episodes of regular vaginal intercourse are protected by condoms. Single individuals use condoms even more frequently (i.e. one in three of all sexual encounters). According to some estimates, each year, more than 5,000,000,000 packs of condoms are used throughout the world.
It is a common misconception that condoms or any other type of physical barrier may interfere with the quality of sexual pleasure or sensations. According to a new study reported in the Journal of Sexual Medicine (3) study participants reported satisfactory sexual satisfaction and sensation with condom use. Besides, there are virtually hundreds of brands and types of condoms, it all comes down to choosing the one that best suits your preferences.
According to a recent study, 82% males and 68% females rely on condoms for protection on their first sexual encounter. Unfortunately, only 39% adolescents in the United States are taught how to correctly use condoms in their health classes at school.
China holds the record for creating the world’s largest condom that has dimensions of approximately 100 meter x 80 meter. This condom was displayed on the World Population Day 2003 at a hotel top located in Guilin, China.
Condoms are highly stretchable. A simple experiment suggested that an average condom can hold up to 1 gallon of fluid, without any leaking. Most condom brands have a shelf life of more than 4 years. It is important however to keep your supply stored in a cool and dry place.
And last but not the least; in Danish language, condom is known as ‘Svangerskabforebyggendemiddel’. Good luck pronouncing it or remembering the spelling.
1. Masters, N. T., Casey, E., Beadnell, B., Morrison, D. M., Hoppe, M. J., & Wells, E. A. (2015). Condom and contexts: Profiles of sexual risk and safety among young heterosexually active men. The Journal of Sex Research, 52(7), 781-794.
2. Maatouk, I., & Moutran, R. (2013). The origins of the condom. Sexual health, 10(3), 287-287.
3. Sanders, Stephanie A., et al. (2010). “Condom Use During Most Recent Vaginal Intercourse Event Among a Probability Sample of Adults in the United States.” The Journal of Sexual Medicine, 7
4. Hood, J. E., Hogben, M., Chartier, M., Bolan, G., & Bauer, H. (2013). Dual contraceptive use among adolescents and young adults: correlates and implications for condom use and sexually transmitted infection outcomes. Journal of Family Planning and Reproductive Health Care, jfprhc-2012.