Chocolates. Roses. Special dinners and maybe even lingerie — these are some of the things you might expect to either give or receive during a romantic date, but have you considered condoms as an excellent expression of your love instead? Condoms are the only birth control method that does double duty while preventing unintended pregnancy, they also protect you both from some sexually transmitted diseases at the same time.
Made for Guys and Gals!
Condoms are thin, fitted tubes made of latex, lambskin, nitrile, or plastic that come designed for two different body parts: the penis and the vagina. Most people are aware of condoms for guys, but fewer know that there’s a condom designed for women, too.
Never heard of them or thought about trying a female condom? It is worth your time! One of the big benefits of the female condom is that you can insert it well before sex — even while you’re getting ready for your special date. This means all the awkwardness of putting it on can happen in the privacy of your own bathroom. (Added bonuses: having it in place early causes it to warm up to your body temperature which may be more comfortable for both you and your partner and for some women having something in place increases excitement, anticipation, and sensitivity!) Another benefit is that you can keep female condoms in place after sex, giving a little more time for post-coital connection, and keeping messy cleanup to yourself, as well.
Condoms are Portable & Prescription-Free!
Birth control pills, IUDs, vaginal ring, or patches and shots, all require prescriptions or doctor visits. Acquiring condoms doesn’t require a doctor’s visit. And you don’t need any follow up visits for refills or to monitor how they’re impacting the rest of your overall health.
Condoms are also conveniently available in most drugstores and also online retailers, should you want to make your purchase even more privately. They’re small, discreet, and easy to pop into a coin purse, makeup bag, or backpack pocket. But don’t carry them in your wallet against your body, as body heat and friction will wear down the latex and render them ineffective.
When You Use Them Correctly, They Work Well
If you use condoms correctly every single time you have sex (which includes checking their expiration dates), they’re 98% effective at preventing pregnancy. When taking into consideration the likelihood of human mistakes, condoms are still 87% effective — which translates to about 13 out of 100 people each year getting pregnant if they’re using condoms as a sole form of birth control.
Still, 87% effectiveness is a great deal more than you’ll get from not using protection. Even trying the withdrawal method or what some people call “pull and pray,” results in more pregnancies (22 out of 100), and you’re not protecting against any STDs and STIs. (Note that lambskin condoms, while just as effective at preventing pregnancy, are not recommended for the prevention of STIs.)
When used in combination with other forms of birth control like contraceptive film or a diaphragm, the protection provided by a condom can become even more powerful.
Great for Teens Too Because of all the reasons above, condoms are a good way to introduce teens to birth control that they can have control over. “Because condoms don’t involve hormones, they don’t interfere with menstrual cycles, sperm production, or fertility,” assures Dr Sherley Samuels. “This makes them a great ‘gateway’ method of sexual protection for young people.”
Your sexual health is essential to your overall wellness, which is why Covington Women’s Health Specialists is here to support you in this personal department. Bring your contraception concerns and sex questions to our caring team by making an appointment online or calling us at 770-385-8954.