What is a Condom?
A condom is a contraceptive sheath that is pulled over the penis before intercourse to prevent the semen from entering the vagina. This is a barrier method used by males. Knowing the pros and cons of its usage also equips the woman to make an informed choice as to the best means to prevent unwanted pregnancy.
What Provides the Protection in Condoms?
They are made of latex, polyurethane or lambskin. Some condoms are coated with spermicidal gel as an added protection to kill sperms. They have a small reservoir at the tip of the condom to hold the ejaculation fluids. They have a one time usage and must be discarded after intercourse.
Convenient and Popular:
It is one of the most popular contraceptive means and their usage has some great advantages. They are easy to obtain and are inexpensive. They are available easily at drug stores, clinics, gas stations and at vending machines in other places. They come in small packs and are also easy to carry. They can be used as and when required, discarded after use and that adds to their convenience.
Pros Of Using Condoms:
- Condoms are an effective means of contraception if used correctly. By preventing the sperm from entering the uterus they reduce the chances of pregnancy by 85%. The added use of spermicides increases the effectiveness to over 95%.
- As the penis does not come in contact with the vulva or vagina, no exchange of genital fluids occurs. Chances of contracting deadly sexually transmitted diseases such as syphilis, chlamydia and gonorrhoea are drastically reduced in both and woman. The transmission of genital herpes, human papilloma virus (HPV) and human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) which causes AIDS is also reduced. Using condoms thus, makes for much safer sex than without.
- There are no side effects when condoms are used in comparison to other means of contraception. Birth control pills can cause mood changes, weight gain. IUDs can cause excessive bleeding initially.
Cons Of Using Condoms:
- They care not 100% safe in preventing pregnancy. About 15% of women still go on to conceive even after usage. The condom may break, slip off or tear during sex. Sometimes, the couple may remain unaware that the condom has slipped off.
- Some men do not like to use condoms as they feel that sensations are dulled. Both men and women complain that condom usage decreases sexual pleasure. The time taken to pull on a condom also interrupts foreplay and intercourse and spoils the romantic mood.
Few women are allergic to latex. Use of latex condoms will make them break out in rashes over the genital area. To check if you are allergic pull on a latex glove over your hand and see whether symptoms of itching or rash or breathing difficulties arise. To avoid latex a polyurethane condom can be used instead.
The spermicide on the condom can also sometimes cause allergy or irritation. If this happens switching to condoms without any spermicide is advisable.
To prevent such accidents:
The condom must be checked properly for any tear before use and the correct size should be used. Too big a size will cause slippage. On the other hand a small size will cause constriction hampering sex.
To know more, ask a gynecologist online, visit DOC N ME.