Condoms are considered a barrier to conception. There are condoms for men and condoms for women. The male condom is in the shape of an elastic tube (latex, most of the time), closed at one end. These apply to the penis before the onset of sexual intercourse. The female condom is a polyurethane jacket with a flexible ring at each end. The closed end part is inserted into the vagina and the open side where the ring is located will be positioned outside the vagina.
How condoms work?
Condoms act as a barrier to semen collection during and after the male ejaculates. This prevents sperm from reaching the inside of the vagina, thus preventing fertilization. Condoms also block transmission of sexual diseases by excluding direct penis’s skin contact with the vagina’s skin of the partner.
Advantages and disadvantages of condoms
Advantages of condoms for men:
- Convenient and easy to get
- No prescription
- They can be used along with other contraceptive methods
- They’re one-time use
- Helps prevent unwanted pregnancies and sexually transmitted diseases
- Helps prevent premature ejaculation and can help to prolong erection because the condom compresses the outer veins of the penis.
- Stop the sperm to make contact with the woman’s vaginal tissue and this may reduce the ability of the woman’s body to produce antibodies against sperm (one of the causes of infertility)
In addition, men and women often claim to have sexier intercourse more comfortable when using condoms.
The disadvantages are:
- Some people think the condom diminishes the sensations
- A small percentage of men are unable to maintain an erection after the condom has been put
- Sometimes sexual arousal can be lost when sexual intercourse is interrupted for condom use
- Friction caused by condom can reduce stimulation for women, which can make sex less pleasant or comfortable (using lubricated condoms can avoid this problem)
- Some men are stressed by using condoms
- Some men can feel pressure in an attempt to keep their erections and condoms on their penis
- Planning is required in order to have your condoms ready for sexual contact
- 1-2% of women and men are allergic to latex condoms – in this case, the couple may use polyurethane condoms or lambskin (natural) condoms
Protection against sexually transmitted diseases
Most condoms for men are made of latex and offer a great protection against sexually transmitted diseases.
There are also condoms made of lamb skin which provide less protection against sexually transmitted diseases, including HIV/AIDS, so the use of latex condoms is recommended.
For people who may have latex allergic reactions, polyurethane condoms are available for both women and men. When used properly, latex and plastic condoms are effective against most sexually transmitted diseases.
US Men’s Condom Use Is on the Rise
A report conducted by the US’s CDC in 2015 surveyed more than 20,000 men and women, with ages between 15 and 44.
The report’s authors compared the results with a prior statistic which has been done in 2002.
The recent study concluded that about 33% of the surveyed men use condoms, in comparison with the only 29% of the men surveyed in 2002.
On the other hand, the results are exactly the same in both studies in the cases of women. Only 23% of the surveyed women have reported that their partners are using condoms.
Casey E. Copen, the author of the study admitted that the results are ‘good news’ but there is still a raise in STDs in the US. Mostly, the STDs cases are reported in men between 15 and 19 years of age, and the infections include chlamydia, gonorrhea, and even syphilis infection.
Also, the study may reflect another situation. Women have more choices when it comes to birth control, therefore maybe that’s why the results of questioned women have not changed since 2002.
Another reason of this difference between men’s results and women’s results maybe that the women who have been surveyed might have long-lasting relationships, so they are not into having sex with multiple partners. Instead, the majority of the surveyed men was at an age on which having sex with multiple partners is ‘cool’.