Do you know how to wrap it up correctly?
Condoms seem pretty easy to put on—and keep on—during sex, but a series of reports show looks can be deceiving. Improper use is a serious public health issue in developing countries and here in the United States.
The Kinsey Institute Condom Use Research Team found that condoms breaking and slipping off were common, but that user error was to blame in most cases. According to MSNBC, not leaving the condom on during the entire sex act, not looking to see if the condom is punctured, expired or damaged prior to use, and not leaving enough room at the tip were common mistakes as well. Some other mistakes included:
- Not squeezing air from the tip
- Putting the condom on inside out
- Withdrawing one’s penis too soon
- Putting the condom on too late
- Failure to roll the condom down all the way
- Using the wrong type of lubrication or no lubrication at all
- Reusing old condoms
While the World Health Organization states that condoms have a 2 percent failure rate when used perfectly and consistently, WebMD states that the typical failure rate is much higher than that, at 15 percent.
We all know not using condoms properly has serious consequences, consequences African Americans just cannot afford, including unwanted pregnancies, STD and HIV transmission. All three are disproportionately higher among blacks compared to whites and other ethnicities.
So the question remains, do you know how to wrap it up the right way?
The American Social Health Association offers up these tips:
- Use only latex or polyurethane (plastic) condoms.
- Keep condoms in a cool, dry place.
- Put the condom on an erect penis before there is any contact with a partner’s genitals.
- Use plenty of lubricant. But don’t use oil-based products with latex condoms. Water-based lubes are condom-friendly, but they might increase the risks of STIs with anal sex. Consider using silicone-based lubricants for anal intercourse.
- Hold the condom in place at the base of the penis before withdrawing after sex.
- Throw away used condoms.
- Don’t use your fingernails or teeth when opening a condom wrapper. It’s very easy to tear the condom inside. If you do tear it while opening the wrapper, throw it away and get a new one.
- Don’t leave condoms in hot places like your wallet or in your car.