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Please note that some of the language in this article is sexually explicit.
Condoms have through history been recorded the earliest being described in Egyptian history, whilst in England in the 1600’s condoms were discovered made from animal intestines. Condoms in history have been made from a variety of materials all over the world including leather, cloth soaked in chemicals, horn, and eventually in 1844 an American called Charles Goodyear patented vulcanized rubber and later in 1855 the first rather thick seamed condoms were produced.
Fortunately improvements to the process were made and today condoms can be purchased worldwide in all sorts of shapes, colours and sizes.
Condoms are known by many different names:
Condoms work by keeping the semen (the fluid that contains sperm) from entering the vagina. The condom is placed on a man erect penis prior to penetrative intercourse. It is unrolled all the way to the base of the penis while holding the tip of the condom to eject the air and to allow for the sperm to collect after ejaculation. After ejaculation the man should hold the condom at the base of the penis as he pulls out of the vagina. This is best done when the penis is still erect to prevent the condom from slipping off when he gets soft. Dispose of the condom carefully in a bin, not down the toilet; they are not biodegradable therefore not good for the environment.
According to statistics from the National statistics website
Unfortunately just 51 % of 16-17 year old women were using contraceptives but with age 20-49 year olds 70%-82% were using at least one method of contraception.
Condoms are available in a variety of sizes, lengths widths, colours and shapes and are down to your own personal choice which you and your partner choose to use. Some condoms are flavoured to make oral sex more enjoyable, textured and ribbed condoms are also available which can increase sensation for both partners. They also come in a variety of colours, even novelty glow in the dark! Condoms are usually made of latex or polyurethane. There are different brands available on the market at differing prices.
This product is in fact in developmental stages. Dr.Michel Bergeron a researcher in Laval University in Quebec city has developed a product which is liquid at room temperature but becomes a barrier gel at body temperature. The product contains microbicides and act similarly to spermicides acting as a chemical and physical barrier. Currently protection is against STI’s like Herpes, HPV, Chlamydia, Gonorrhoea and pregnancy with a degree of protection from HIV. This product is in its trial period and will not be expected on the shelves for several years.
In Germany at the Institute for Condom Guidance Jan Vinzenz Krause has invented a product which is being developed and tested. It is a spray on condom apparently the penis is inserted into a can and sprayed all over with latex providing a snug fit for all sizes of penis. They are hoping to market the product in Germany in 2008 and are currently asking for volunteers to test the product.
There are a variety of lubricants often already packaged with the condoms, some are available without any but the majority have either a silicone or water based lubricant to make the condom easier to go on, and use. If you choose to use more lubricant you will need to be aware of which types of condom you are using. Lubricants should be used after the condom is on the penis otherwise if used before could cause the condom to slip off. Silicone lubricant can be used with both types of condom but may stain fabrics.
Some condoms have spermicide on them it will tell you this on the packaging or you can purchase spermicides as foams or creams to be inserted prior to penetration as additional protection. One spermicide containing Nonoxynol 9 has in studies been shown to cause small sores on the lining of the vagina and rectum increasing the chances of contracting STI’s therefore for those who have multiple sexual partners or for anal sex it has been advised that a non spermicidal condom be used.
With latex use ONLY water-based lubricants such as K-Y Jelly. Other lubricants such as baby oil, Vaseline, massage oil will damage the condom and may cause it to tear. Saliva causes the condom to dry out and possibly tear.
With Polyurethane condoms you are able to use oil based lubricants with this as the plastic is unaffected.
What do I do if my condom breaks?
If I am on the pill do I need to use condoms too?
What do I do if my partner says he won’t wear a condom?
When can we stop using condoms?
The Pope and the Condom:
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