Condoms are perhaps the most widely known and used form or contraception today. They are relatively inexpensive to purchase and easy to use. But, there are a number of myths surrounding their use, some of which have spread faster than a celebrity scandal and some of which have become common knowledge. So here’s a list of the myths and the truth (or untruth) behind them. Click here for more exciting information.
1. Using two condoms is safer than one. This is a big, fat lie, using two condoms actually increases the chances of the condom breaking. It’s like if you have ever worn two pairs of socks in hopes it will prevent blisters. What actually happens, is rather than adding protection, the two layers rub together causing friction against the skin. This can cause tears in the condoms. So, no two is not better than one, in the case of condoms. The fact that this has become a myth goes to show that there is still a fairly large number of people who do not understand how to wear a condom.
2. Condoms only protect against Pregnancy. This also false. Men’s condoms can also protect you and you partner from STI’s (Sexually Transmitted Infections). So it is worthwhile to use with partners with a previous sexual history even if you are using other contraceptive methods such as the Pill or injection.
3. I don’t need a condom because I /my partner is on the pill. This is not completely false, but also not completely true. The pill is not always guaranteed to be one hundred per cent effective in protection from pregnancy. If you/your partner has been sick (vomiting or diarrhoea) or is on antibiotics the effectiveness of the pill is dramatically lowered. The pill also does not protect you or your partner from contracting STI’s. So yes, you probably still need to use men’s condoms (or female) even if you are using other contraceptives.
4. Using extra lubrication with condoms is good. Wrong, this is a myth. Most condoms have been lubricated in some way shape or form before packaging so there’s that. But also dependent on the type of condom you are using, extra lubrication can damage it. Knowing how to wear a condom correctly also involves things like lubricants. With latex condoms for example (which are also the most common type) oil based lubricants such as baby oil or Vaseline can actually damage the latex causing it to tear easily. Water based lubricants from pharmacy are the safest option if you feel you need extra lubrication.
5. Men’s condoms aren’t necessary if I’m only having oral sex. Wrong again. Whilst you can’t get pregnant from oral sex, you can contact STI’s. Sexually transmitted infections such as gonorrhoea, chlamydia and herpes can be contracted orally. So it is better to err on the side of caution than risk a life-long STI.