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5 things to know about condoms to avoid unwanted pregnancy

Condoms should be used to practice safe sex but how you use them is also important. Here are a few things you need to keep in mind the next time you use condoms.
View All Images Things to know about condoms
Things you should know about condoms
Team Health Shots Published: 18 Dec 2023, 07:00 pm IST
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Condoms are the most commonly used and popular form of birth control. While a lot of people complain about using condoms and choose to go without them, the importance of using them cannot be emphasised enough. There are a few things you must know about condoms. So, here are 5 things you should never miss out on when using a condom.

What is a condom?

Condoms are a popular contraceptive product. Its thin material creates a barrier, preventing pregnancy by obstructing the sperm from meeting the egg. They are made of different materials such as latex (rubber), polyurethane or polyisoprene, and even offer protect against sexually transmitted infections and diseases. Health Shots reached out to obstetrician and gynecologist Dr Swati Gaikwad about the use of condoms.

How to use a condom?
Know the right way to use a condom. Image courtesy: Shutterstock

Important things you need to know about condoms

Here’s everything you need to know about the use of condoms and the right way to use them:

1. Always check the expiry date

Just like you would check the expiry date on food items, it is important to check the dates while buying condoms. A lot of people tend to miss out on checking out the expiry date on condoms, which should never happen. If you use a condom after it has expired, the lubricants on them can damage the vaginal lines and cause infection. Apart from this, expired condoms are more likely to burst, as well as their ability to prevent sexually transmitted diseases and pregnancy is greatly reduced, which adds to the risk. So, don’t forget to check the expiry date the next time you buy a condom.

2. Flavoured condoms may not be a good option for vaginal sex

As the name suggests, flavoured condoms are normal condoms but with your favourite flavours such as strawberry, chocolate, and more. Did you know flavoured condoms are designed for oral sex? That’s right, it is not a good idea to use flavoured condoms during penetrative sex. They are chemically synthesised and can cause vaginal irritation, itching, or even an infection if used during penetrative sex.

3. Where you store the condoms matters

Condoms should always placed in a cool, dry place – it should not be too hot or too cold. So, you should keep it away from sunlight, heat, and humid places. You should store it in a dry and cool place. Keeping condoms in your bag or purse can spoil the latex and spoil the lube. This increases the risk of infections and diseases.

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4. Use silicone-based lube with latex condoms

Yes, you can use lubricants and condoms together! Using lubricants minimise friction and can be used to increase arousal and improve sexual experience. Using a water-based or silicone-based lubricant is best to use with latex condoms. Avoid using oil, lotion, vaseline, and oil-based lubes with latex condoms. Oils can damage latex condoms causing them to tear – we don’t want that! This will only add to your problems and put you at risk of an unwanted pregnancy and sexually transmitted diseases. Also, you should use oil-based lubricants with non-latex plastic condoms.

How to use condoms
Using lubricants with condoms can help increase the pleasure. Image courtesy: Freepik

5 Never reuse condoms

Well, condoms are not reusable products! Even if you’re thinking of doing it the second time in a few times, do not use a condom twice. It is important to change the condom every time you have sex. Using the same one is unhygienic and increases your risk of getting an infection for both men and women. You should only use a condom only once to have healthy and safe sex, and also dispose it in a hygienic way.

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