Condoms are one of the oldest methods of male contraception. They act as a barrier between the vagina and penis, thus preventing the entry of sperm. Condoms are one of the cheapest methods of male contraception. Read on to find out if condoms are the right choice for you.
Male condoms have been used as a means for birth control since a long time in human history. It is surprising that its use can be dated to some 3000 years back! Condoms were found when the researchers were studying the Egyptian mummies along with several other illustrations that have been found in Egypt. This oldest birth control method falls under the category of the barrier method.
Condoms have been made from a wide array of things right from linen to animal intestines and in some cultures quite early back, tortoise shells were also used for the purpose! Then when rubber was used in the vulcanised form, in 1840, they began to be referred to as ‘rubber’s as well.
What is Condom Made of Today?
Today most of the popular brands of condoms are made from latex rubber. Condoms made from polyurethane and animal tissues which are known as natural skin condoms are available off the rack in stores. They are available in a wide array of colours, textures and flavours as well. Purchasing condoms do not require a prescription and it is easily available from stores since 1960s. This makes it a convenient and easy contraceptive option to prevent pregnancy. They also offer protection from sexually transmitted diseases and infections.
Are Condoms Effective in Preventing Pregnancy?
Condoms are regarded as barrier method of birth control as it acts as a thin shield that covers an erect penis. It is supposed to be worn by the man before he has intercourse and should be immediately taken off in order to effectively prevent any possible leakage. When the man is wearing it, it traps the ejaculated sperm inside its tip and so that it does not come in contact with the vagina. Each time sex happens, a new condom must be used.
It has been found on a yearly basis, condoms can effectively prevent pregnancy by 85%. Here again the effectiveness of this male contraception depends on perfectly, properly and consistently it is used each time the man has sex. In the way it is usually used, around 15% women stand the risk of pregnancy.
- There is a possibility that the condoms break while having sex. Then the sperm can spill out in the vagina increasing the risk of pregnancy.
- Oil based lubricants are not safe while using condoms. They include massage oils, baby oils and petroleum jelly. The latex weakens when it comes in contact with the lubricant and becomes unsuitable for use due to the possibility of infections.
- If the condoms are not stored in a cool dry place, they may not be effective.
Common Side Effects of Condoms
- By and large there are no side effects observed in people using condoms. But if either of the partners is allergic to latex, condoms might cause skin irritations.
- If the condom is lined with spermicide, and the man or the woman is allergic to latex, the condition can be even worse. Then, this variety can also cause urinary tract infection.
- So it is advisable to use condoms without the spermicide and opt for the polyurethane or skin condoms to evade allergic reactions.
- Then again, the polyurethane can easily break and the skin ones are more expensive compared to the other varieties. Further, they may not offer total protection against the sexually transmitted diseases.
- This one is not really a side effect but some men experience a reduction of their sensitivity while wearing a condom.
- Some men are also found to face erectile problems when they are wearing it or during sex.
It is important to note that every time the couple has sex be it vaginal, oral or anal, a new condom must be used. Even while switching from an oral to a vaginal one, a new condom must be used to maintain the effectiveness of this male contraceptive option.