Guidelines for Male Condom Use
Guidelines for Male Condom Use
For those who always wandered if there were ever any guidelines or directions for using male condoms; well, looky, looky, I found some. Check out these guidelines and commit them to memory. They just may prove to help you out one day.
- Condoms should never be stored in hot places like car glove-compartments or wallets kept in pockets close to the body, as prolonged exposure to heat weakens latex.
- Sharp fingernails can damage condoms. In case of shaved or trimmed pubic hair extra care should be taken due to the stubble.
- Condoms are best put on the erect penis as soon as an erection is achieved and before any contact with the other person’s body, and should always be put on before contact with a vagina or anus.
- Retracting the foreskin before putting on a condom maximizes mobility and reduces the risk of breakage during intercourse.
- Room needs to be left at the tip of a condom to hold semen. Most condoms have a reservoir tip that should be pinched while applying the condom to avoid trapping an air bubble which could burst later.
- Water-based sexual lubricants, such as KY Jelly, are safe for use with condoms, but oil-based lubricants weaken latex and may cause it to tear or develop holes. Lubrication can be used to reduce the abrasion on the condom during vaginal sex, and is virtually essential for anal sex. However lubrication should be used with care. One study has shown that additional lubrication may double the rate of condom slippage for vaginal sex and increase the rate of condom slippage for oral sex. The rate of condom slippage during anal sex however was reduced.
- Some condoms are designed specifically for anal sex. The material is slightly thicker, making these condoms less likely to tear than those designed for vaginal sex.
- Condoms should be discarded after the expiration date on the package. Even ones that seem fine past that date may be more likely to burst later.
- The penis should be withdrawn immediately after ejaculation, even if the erection can be maintained; leaving it in leads to needless risk.
- The base of the condom should be held during withdrawal to prevent the condom from slipping off.
- One’s hands and penis should be washed before further physical contact with another person (including the sexual partner)
- Condoms are for single use only, and should never be reused.
- Condoms are available in special sizes for people who require larger or smaller ones.
- Practicing applying condoms alone in a well lighted place can help a man learn to apply it correctly before using them for sex.
Microbicides, Innovations in Reproductive Health
What are microbicides? The term refers to a range of products that share the ability to prevent the sexual transmission of HIV and other sexually transmitted diseases when applied topically. A microbicide can come in various forms including gels, creams, suppositories, films, and as a sponge or ring that releases the active ingredient over time.
Microbicides are presently under scientific testing. Eleven out of sixty product leads have proven safe and effective in animals. The product is now being tested in people. Impending success could lead to the availability of a public use microbicide in the next five to seven years. Lack of funding for research and development causes major setbacks.
A microbicide would not eliminate the need for a condom. Male and female condoms provide better protection than microbicides. For people who do not use condoms, microbicides could have a considerable impact on the HIV epidemic. Research has shown if a small proportion of women in low income countries use a 60 % effective microbicide in half of their sexual relations where condoms are not used, 2.5 million HIV infections could be averted over 3 years.
Most microbicide products being tested work against the spread of HIV and one other sexually transmitted disease. It is difficult to make a one size fits all product because STDs are caused by different viral or bacterial pathogens. Health professionals suggest using multiple mechanisms for a wider range of protection.
The research is conducted by non-profit and academic institutions funded by federal research grants through the National Institute of Health, US Agency for International Development, and the Center for Disease Control and Prevention. Large pharmaceutical companies have not taken interest due to the low profit incentive.
No one strategy will solve the problems associated with sexually transmitted diseases, including HIV/AIDS. Microbicides serve as an additional tool to prevent the spread of disease. Existing prevention strategies—such as behavior change, broad access to condoms, counseling and testing, and STD diagnosis and treatment are equally important in the fight against AIDS.
The Female Condom
Im sure you have heard the phrase, Better safe than sorry. Young women face the highest risks of HIV infection. Almost half of the 39 million adults infected with HIV worldwide are women. In this day and time, one must take responsibility for their own sexual and reproductive health.
The following paragraphs are an introduction to the female condom:
What is the female condom? It is a thin, soft, loose fitting polyurethane plastic pouch that lines the vagina. It consists of two flexible rings: an outer ring which remains outside the vagina and an inner ring used to insert the device inside the vagina and hold it in place. The use of polyurethane allows the condom to be used with any type of lubricant including water-based products.It was introduced in 1993 as a dual-protection method capable of preventing both unwanted pregnancy and sexually transmitted diseases. When used consistently and correctly, the female condom is 95% effective.
There are several advantages to using the female condom. It is female-controlled and offers greater protection by covering internal and external genitalia. It is often more convenient and polyurethane is 40% stronger than latex. And for the men who complain about decreased sensation with a latex condom,the female condom is more comfortable. This product is not without disadvantages. A study by Family Health International found that the female condom was not aesthetically pleasing and noise associated with use, size and partner resistance was an issue. What is more important: Safety or Aesthetics? Difficulty in insertion/removal of the condom was noted in the study. Overall, the women in the FHI study liked the device and would recommend it to others.
The female condom has received global support among the health community. Dr Steve Sinding, Director General, International Planned Parenthood Federation states: The female condom works. It is effective in preventing pregnancy and STIs (sexually transmitted infection), including HIV. When offered with goodcounseling and support, female condom availability results in significantly safer sex. . . More choice equals more protection. Its that simple. Increased choice helps empower women. As part of a right-based approach to health care, women should have access to female condoms.
The cost is slightly more expensive than latex condoms. Approximately $3-4 dollars will get you a box of three condoms. The first female condom on the market is a Female Health Company product known as Reality, Femidom, Care contraceptive sheath, and Dominique. Condoms are becoming increasingly more significant in decreasing sexually transmitted infections. Whether male or female condom? It is your choice. Do something proactive to protect your sexual health and wellbeing.
So you say Coitus Interruptus isn’t safe?
Imagine watching the evening news and seeing someone riding a skateboard on the freeway in Atlanta, GA – during rush hour. Sounds kind of crazy, huh? Some individuals do crazy things because they are risk takers, dare-devils, or they might just happen to be Evil Knievel. While others are just misinformed of the risks and consequences. I can here you saying – “So what does this have to do with Coitus Interruptus (aka, the withdrawal method of contraception)?” Let me explain.
As you may already know, withdrawal (aka Coitus Interruptus) is a widely known, and practiced method of contraception. It is formally described as, “the man withdrawing his penis from the vagina before ejaculation”. I can here some fellas saying, “Phil, what’s wrong with that?” Nothing, if you are planning making some kids or contracting a STD. Let’s take a look at the numbers shall we: According the Kaiser Family Foundation, with typical use, 27 women in 100 become pregnant in one year. That means if you decide to use withdrawal as your only method of contraception, you have a 25% chance of pregnancy; and a even greater probability of getting a STD. Does it still sound like a good idea? I didn’t think so.
Don’t believe it? How can someone get pregnant or a STD if the guy pulls out before anything comes out, you say? Because men secrete pre-ejaculate, this contains sperm; and could contain some sexually transmitted diseases. Plus, there are some STDs that only require skin-to-skin contact to be transmitted, but we will cover that in another article. Your best bet would be to invest in some condoms, at the least. And for those that don’t have a few bucks to spare; you can usually get them for free a your local free clinic.
Posted on June 2, 2012, in Categorized and tagged AIDS, Condom, Family Health International, Female condom, HIV, Reproductive health, Sexual intercourse, Sexually transmitted disease. Bookmark the permalink. 1 Comment.