“Education on proper condom use, as well as increased use, are key factors in decreasing condom errors and increasing their effectiveness. But we still have a great deal of work ahead of us. To ensure a more sexually healthy nation, we need to arm people with the facts they need to make smart choices to protect themselves and their partners.”
1. Condom Myth: Condoms don’t protect against STIs like chlamydia and gonorrhea.
- Condoms have been shown to be significantly effective in preventing chlamydia, gonorrhea, and trichomoniasis; compared to women who didn’t use condoms, women who consistently used condoms showed a 62% reduction in the risk of contracting gonorrhea and a 26% reduction in the risk of acquiring chlamydia.
- Consistent and correct use of latex condoms or female condomsis associated with a significant reduction in the combined incidence of gonorrhea, chlamydia and syphilis in women considered to be at high-risk for contracting STIs.
- An evaluation of 45 research studies investigating condom use and gonorrhea and/or chlamydia infection revealed that using condoms lowers the risk for contracting both of these diseases in men and women.
2. Condom Myth: Using two condoms provide better protection than just one.
3. Condom Myth: Latex condoms are the only truly effective condoms.
4. Condom Myth: Condom sizes don’t matter.
5. Condom Myth: Condoms may offer some protection against STIs, but not HIV.
6. Condom Myth: Condoms can cause more harm than good.
7. Condom Myth: Condoms aren’t effective at preventing pregnancy.
- Not using a condom every time you have sex.
- Not correctly using a condom (putting it on wrong/inside out, not wearing a condom the entire time – putting it on too late/taking it off to soon, not wearing the proper size condom).
- Using expired condoms.
- Opening a condom package with a sharp object or puncturing a condom with fingernails or jewelry.
- Using condoms that were not stored properly.
- Not using a water-based or silicone-based lubricant.
- Reusing condoms.
8. Condom Myth: Condoms offer no protection against skin-to-skin contact STIs.
- In research studies of couples where one person is infected with herpes simplex virus type 2 (HSV-2), condom use partially protected men and women against new HSV-2 infections.
- Growing evidence indicates that condoms offer moderate protection against HSV-2. Data suggests that there is a 3.6% increase in the odds of contracting herpes (HSV-2) with each unprotected act of sexual intercourse, a 2.7% increase in the odds of catching herpes when condoms were sometimes used, and no increase in herpes risk when condoms were always during intercourse.
- Studies also show that condom use is associated with quicker healing of cervical and penile HPV-associated lesions as well as a shorter duration of HPV infection in women.
- Research also reveals that a woman's chances of acquiring HPV significantly decreases as the frequency of condom use increases. When compared to women whose partners used condoms for less than 5% of sexual encounters, women whose partners used condoms at least half of the time had a 50% lower risk of HPV infection, and women whose partners used condoms 100% of the time had a 70% lower risk.
9. Condom Myth: Condoms usually have holes or other manufacturing defects.
10. Condom Myth: Condoms are uncomfortable and difficult to use.