Think you know all there is to know about condoms? Many myths exist when it comes to condom usage, storage, and effectiveness. Read on to find out the real deal.
MYTH: Condoms protect against all sexually transmitted infections.
FACT: Condoms are very effective in protecting against STIs that are spread through bodily fluid, however they may not protect against some STIs that are spread via skin-to-skin contact. Herpes and HPV are examples of STIs that may be spread through skin-to-skin contact. If you are concerned about more coverage, consider using a female condom which offers more coverage of the genitalia providing additional protection.
MYTH: Condoms are 100 percent effective in preventing pregnancy.
FACT: This may be the most common myth that exists regarding condoms. Condoms are 98 percent effective when used correctly and every time. If you are concerned about getting pregnant, use birth control or another form of contraception along with the use of condoms. The combination of both birth control and condoms will highly decrease chances of becoming pregnant.
MYTH: Using more than one condom is safer.
FACT: One condom is the way to go! Using two condoms, or “doubling up,” can cause the condoms to break due to the friction of condoms rubbing together. This stands true for both female and male condoms- one condom is all you need!
MYTH: Condom storage is not important and cannot affect the condom.
FACT: How you store a condom does affect the condom. Storing a condom in a location that is hot, for example in the trunk of a car, or on a window sill, can cause the condom to become extremely weak. Storing condoms in a wallet can cause them to deteriorate due to the bending and folding that takes place. Condoms should be stored in a location that is cool and dry, like in a drawer on a nightstand. The best way to store a condom would be below or at room temperature.
Using condoms correctly can help protect yourself and your partner. Stop by the Office of Wellness Promotion, located in Commonwealth Hall, or the Women’s Center in Lawrence for FREE condoms and more information
Written by Christina Gantt, Peer Educator