Even though there are some disadvantages to using a condom, condoms are a common method of birth control. Although, even with protecting against pregnancy sexually transmitted infections (STIs), condom disadvantages exist. There are some drawbacks to using condoms. However, knowing the pros and cons will help you decide if using condoms is right for you.
Using a Condom – Pros & Cons
Most things in life have pros and cons. Condoms are no different. You should decide for yourself which is most important. Consider this when choosing whether to use or not to use condoms.
On the pro side, using condoms helps reduces the chance of getting pregnant and your risk of contracting an STI. Plus, they’re easy to buy and don’t require a prescription.
Generally speaking, condoms are also inexpensive compared to other form of contraception. Additionally, many types are lubricated for extra comfort during sex. Also, spermicidal condoms come pre-lubricated with spermicide lube for added protection from pregnancy and STIs.
However, some downsides are associated with using condoms, like decreased sensation during sex due to the material disrupting the natural flow or friction between partners. If this is your experience, consider trying thin condoms for improved sensations.
Also, a lack of spontaneity as the time to open and put on a condom can spoil the mood. Also, some men have experienced difficulty keeping an erection when wearing a condom.
Additionally, condoms are designed to reduce the chance of pregnancy but are not 100% effective. Also, if not used correctly every time, they are more susceptible to condom breakage and their efficacy rate can be substantially lower than stated on the packaging.
Another disadvantage is that some report having allergic reactions to latex and other materials used to make condoms. Latex is the most common material used in making condoms, but there are alternatives available from some manufacturers including Trojan NaturaLamb made from real lambskin. Although, it’s important to note that while these protect against unwanted pregnancy, they do not protect against STIs.
How To Use a Condom Correctly
To ensure maximum effectiveness whenever you use a condom, you should start by checking the expiration date on each package since this is one factor affecting its reliability. Next, carefully unroll it down onto your partner’s erect penis before sex, making sure that it hasn’t twisted in any way.
Also, additional lubricant may be needed, but it’s important to know you should never use oil-based lube on latex products, as it will break down the material of the condom quickly, resulting in the condom breaking.
Male Condoms are a single-use product, so never try to reuse them. Instead, after sex, remove the condom while still erect by holding it at the base, so no fluids spill, and then properly discard the condom in the trash. Never flush a condom down the toilet, as they can clog plumbing.
If you use latex condoms and any skin irritation occurs, stop using them, as this may indicate an allergic reaction to the lubrication or latex. Finally, always store latex condoms away from direct sunlight, heat, or cold temperatures; otherwise, their shelf life is significantly reduced, causing them to lose the ability to provide protection during sexual intercourse.
Common Side Effects of Using a Condom
Some people may experience discomfort such as itchiness, redness, burning sensation general soreness, especially when switching between different materials. Though these symptoms usually clear up within 24 hours. As always, consult your healthcare professional if you’re still experiencing irritation after 24 hours.
Also, many brands now offer textured condom varieties, including ridged, ribbed, and studded. While these textures are designed to increase stimulation, they can also create a slight numbness after sex. Everyone has different sensitivity levels, so you won’t know if this affects you until you try.
Others have also reported being sensitive to lubrications and spermicides. If you’re unsure whether you are allergic to these, you can test on a small area of skin to see if irritation develops. While this is not always conclusive, it may prevent a greater irritation from occurring after you and your partner have already had sex.
Two Types of Condoms
When it comes to condoms, there are two primary types; the male condom that we all know. But did you know that there are also female condoms? A male condom is external, with the internal being the female style. If you’re interested in other brands and styles, consider our article Buy Condoms Online – Popular Condom Types.
Male condoms come in many sizes, shapes, colors, textures, and flavors. As with most condoms, male condoms are typically made of latex, polyurethane, or other material worn over the penis during sex.
In addition, when used correctly, male condoms reduce unwanted pregnancies and sexually transmitted infections (STIs). Also, ribbed condoms can add pleasure and variety for you and your partner.
Female condoms are internal condoms that fit inside the vagina like a sleeve fitting snugly along both sides. It’s made of thin, soft plastic (polyurethane or nitrile) and forms a barrier around the vagina. In addition, a female condom has an external ring at the opening that helps keep it in place during intercourse.
Female condoms are available without a prescription and can be inserted up to eight (8) hours before sex. Similar to male condoms, they offer additional advantages, such as being a better method of birth control when compared to male condoms. They also include better protection against spreading sexually transmitted infections (STIs) when used correctly, no need for an erection, and greater control for women over contraception choices.
Risks Of Not Using a Condom
While condom disadvantages do exist, the consequence of not using one usually outweighs this.
Failure to practice safe sex increases your probability of infection. So here are just a few STIs you want to avoid.
- HPV (Human papillomavirus)
- HIV AIDS
Also, any unprotected sex puts you at risk of sexually transmitted diseases, so if you are sexually active with many partners (this includes anal sex), using a condom is the responsible move for you and your partners.
While we titled this article “What Are the Disadvantages of Using a Condom?,” I’m sure you now realize that if you’re sexually active with different partners, a condom is the way to go.
For some condom disadvantages do exist but, using a condom helps to ensure your sexual health and safety. Therefore, it’s important to practice safe sex guidelines by properly using a condom each time you engage in sexual intercourse.
Suppose you’re in a monogamous relationship with a partner where condom protections are not an issue. In that case, condom use is more of an option, with many couples using textured condoms to add extra stimulation during sex.
Frequently Asked Questions
How do I know if a condom is expired?
You can easily tell if a condom has expired by checking the expiration date printed on the package. Condom breaks are more likely if you use an expired condom.
Can I use oil-based lubricants with condoms?
No, it is not recommended to use oil-based lubricants with condoms as they can degrade the latex and lead to breakage. It is best to use water- or silicone-based lubricants when using a condom.
Are condoms 100% effective?
Although condoms are a highly effective method of birth control and protection from STIs/STDs, there is still a small chance of failure due to human error. Therefore it is important to practice proper usage guidelines when using a condom.