This Saturday is Valentine’s Day. It’s also International Condom Day! So let’s celebrate condoms!
A male condom is a thin sheath that covers the penis during intercourse. Male condoms can be made of latex, polyurethane, or lambskin. Male condoms can be lubricated, colored, flavored, and textured. Condoms can only be used for one sex act, and then a new one must be used. Male condoms protect against sexually transmitted infections (STIs) and pregnancy by preventing direct contact between the penis and the vagina, and by collecting semen. If used perfectly,efficacy rates are 97%. Typical use has an 86% efficacy rate. Using a male condom in combination with another method like spermicide or hormonal birth control reduces incidences of pregnancy even further.
A female condom is a polyurethane pouch with an open end and a closed end with flexible rings at each end. The closed end is inserted into the vagina, where the inner ring holds it in place. The open end stays outside the vaginal opening. Female condoms prevent pregnancy and STIs by collecting semen and preventing direct contact between the penis and vagina. Although the female condom is not a popular method in the United States, many women in developing nations find the ability to prevent pregnancy and STIs without relying on their partners empowering.
Recently, Buzzfeed published a listicle on female condoms that we love! 10 Reasons to Get Down with Female Condoms
What Condoms Can Do For You
- Save you nearly $250,000 – by preventing unintended pregnancy, condoms can save you the average cost of raising a child in the U.S. – $245,340!
- Protect your fertility – by preventing STIs that, if left untreated, could negatively impact your ability to conceive in the future.
- Save your life – again, by preventing STIs like HIV (which can lead to a compromised immune system) and HPV (which can lead to cervical cancer) using condoms could save your life!
What You Can Do For Condoms
Become a condom reviewer with Lucky Bloke.com! Fill out a simple application, and Lucky Bloke will send you a sampler that fits your size and practices. You then fill out a series of online questionnaires about each specific condom, which Lucky Bloke then shares anonymously with condom manufacturers.
Innovations in Condoms
Condoms: saving the rainforest since 2008 – In 2008, the Brazilian government opened a factory that uses rubber manually extracted in the surrounding areas to manufacture around 100 million condoms a year. The factory allows local “rubber tappers” to profit from the rainforest without tearing it down.
Bill Gates (Yes, that Bill Gates) and his wife Melinda awarded a team at the University of Wollongong in Australia $100,000 to create a better condom. Researchers at the university are developing an alternative to traditional latex that feels more like real skin, with more transferred sensation. They hope the natural feel of this substance, called hydrogel, will convince more men to use condoms.
- Eggs Benedict, made entirely out of condoms, was born when then-Pope Benedict said, “I would say that this problem of AIDS cannot be overcome merely with money, necessary though it is. If there is no human dimension, if Africans do not help, the problem cannot be overcome by the distribution of prophylactics: on the contrary, they increase it.” Artist Niki Reed was appalled at this misinformation? and out of frustration, she created this portrait of the Pope made of condoms.
- Designer Duds – Brazilian Artist Adraina Bertini creates beautiful dresses and gowns from faulty or expired condoms.
- SafeSax – These condom totes make a statement, and are great conversation starters. If you’d like to order one from AFHP, send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org for type and pricing information.
Happy International Condom Day! Be safe and have fun!
As always, if you need help finding a clinic or can’t afford your birth control, give us a call at (602) 258-5777! We can help!