When you start sexually active, whether for the first time or with a new partner, it's critical to discuss contraception. Male condoms are one of the most regularly used (and conveniently accessible) contraceptive techniques after the birth control pill. Condoms can be purchased at any drugstore or obtained for free at family planning and other medical clinics.
Unfortunately, despite being 98% successful at preventing unintended pregnancies and many STIs, there are several condom myths that make people reluctant to use them. It could be a simple example of ignorance, or someone could claim one of these misconceptions is true in order to convince you not to use a condom. For the sake of your sexual and reproductive health, let us debunk some of the most popular condom myths so you can make an informed decision.
Myth #1: Condoms are one-size-fits-all.
When it comes to size, there is some uncertainty about the available and correct condom sizes. Because not all penises are the same size, some condoms may be too tight while others may be too loose. Standard latex condoms can stretch to accommodate any penis, so don't listen to anyone who tells you it's too big to wear one. A regular-sized condom may fit yet feel tight or uncomfortable if your partner is well-endowed. When a condom is overly tight, it is more likely to break. If this is the case, you should investigate which size and brand will be most appropriate for their measurements.
Myth #2: Condoms can break easily.
As previously stated, condoms are 98% efficient at preventing pregnancy when used appropriately and also give protection against STIs. However, listening to horror stories about the remaining 2% of the time has caused some people to believe that condoms with holes or that break during sex are typical. The truth is that condom production must comply with FDA industry requirements for Class II Medical Devices. This implies they are tested for flaws and the manufacturer's testing procedure is regularly audited by the FDA for quality assurance. Condoms are quite durable, nonetheless, put them on gently.
Myth #3: Condoms don’t protect against all STIs and STDs.
While condoms are not 100% effective in STI (sexually transmitted infection) prevention (there is always room for error with any contraceptive method), considerable scientific research has shown that condoms considerably reduce your chance of spreading and contracting all types of STIs and sexually transmitted diseases (STDs). They serve as a barrier for STIs such as chlamydia, gonorrhea, syphilis, and HIV which are transmitted through genital fluids. Condoms are less protective against STIs that transmit by skin-to-skin contact, such as herpes, HPV, and genital warts, but they still minimize the chance of transmission by covering the affected skin.
Myth #4: Two condoms provide double the protection.
Some people wrongly believe that using two condoms provides an additional barrier against undesired pregnancy and STIs. In truth, "double bagging" puts you at greater risk. When two condoms are stacked on top of one other, the friction causes one or both to rip. This is true for two male condoms as well as a male and female condom. You only need one condom.
Myth #5: Sex isn’t as good with a condom.
Some men and women may complain that sex doesn't feel as pleasurable when wearing a condom. The truth is that knowing you're safe from STIs and unintended pregnancy will make sex more joyful for both of you. If you or your partner experience difficulty while having sex with a condom, it is most likely due to size, inappropriate use, or a lack of lubrication.
Myth #6: Size is not important.
In this case, size matters! A condom that is too tiny is more prone to break. But if it is too huge, it may fall off. While the usual-sized condom (two inches in girth and seven inches in length) will fit the vast majority of users, it will not fit everyone.