As soon as you’re at the age where you might start engaging in sexual activity, you’re inundated with messages about condoms. The message is this: use a condom. Always use a condom. Always have a condom with you. Always be prepared.
It’s a good message! Condoms are one of the most important forms of birth control out there, because not only do they prevent an unwanted pregnancy, they also prevent STDs and STIS, and no other form of birth control can do that. As much as I do not want to take away from the message on how crucial condoms are for a sexually active person, I also want to be real with you guys: there are some things no one ever tells you about condoms, and I think you all deserve to know what they are. These include facts about what a condom can do to your vagina, whether or not they can really prevent pregnancy all the time, and some of the weird things that can happen when using one.
Want to know the real deal about condoms? Keep reading! These surprising things no one ever tells you about them will keep you safer in the long run, and that’s really the most important thing!
You Should Never Keep Condoms In Your PocketFor some reason, a lot of people seem to think condoms are indestructible, and so they don't give a second thought to where they keep them - but that's not true at all! Condoms can rip or tear easily, even in the packaging, and sometimes that little rip can be so small that you don't even notice it (but sperm will!). That said, a pocket is a terrible place for a condom, even though we constantly see them being pulled out of pockets in movies and TV shows. Between sitting down, moving around, and the fabric moving against your body, the friction is enough to wear through the packaging and get to the condom, especially if it's on the older side. You're better off keeping your condom in a drawer or a small compartment in a handbag where they won't constantly be rubbing against something. Source: iStock
Some Do Not Protect Against All STDsAlthough condoms are almost 100 percent effective in protecting against most STDS, they aren't at 100 percent - and that means they don't protect against everything. They protect against the STDs that are transmitted by contact of genital fluid between two partners. They are not great protection against herpes - you can still get herpes from someone even if you're wearing a condom. Source: iStock
Magnums Aren't NecessaryTruth: Magnum sized condoms are a marketing scheme. Regular sized condoms can stretch so much more than you think - they can fit even the larger size penises. Magnums exist because they play on a guy's ego and condom brands know that. Dudes like to buy larger sized condoms because they think it makes them look good. In reality, they're paying extra for an "image" thing. Trust me, regular sized condoms will work for him, so if he tries to pull that excuse, don't fall for it. Source: iStock
Condoms Aren't 100 Perfect EffectiveHere's an annoying truth about condoms: they are not 100 percent effective. There are so many great things about them, but the fact is, there is still a small chance you can get pregnant when suing them. Condoms are considered 97 percent effective, meaning they work most of the time, but there is still room for error. Unplanned pregnancies typically occur during condom use if the condom is old, if there is a tear or rip, or if it comes off during sex. Source: iStock
Condoms Can Take Away Your Natural LubricationIf you've ever noticed that when using a condom during sex, your vagina quickly dries up, that's totally normal. Both latex and non-latex condoms can cause vaginal dryness, making it uncomfortable to have sex. If you don't want to use a chemical filled lube, but your vagina gets dry when using a condom, try using a safer lubrication such as coconut oil. A little coconut oil can be used on the outside of a condom or inside your vagina for easy insertion of the penis. Source: iStock
Condoms Have An Expiration DateJust like anything else, condoms have an expiration date. Although condoms have a shelf life of about four to five years, stores that sell them don't necessarily pay attention to exactly when they expire, so it's important that you do. If you're trying to use a condom that has expired, it begins to lose its strength and flexibility, and is more likely to break. Condoms can also lose their effectiveness over time, making you susceptible to STDs or the chance of pregnancy. Pay attention to the date on the box and throw out and replace old condoms. Source: iStock
Condoms Can Get Stuck Inside Of You Without Realizing ItIf you're practicing safe sex with a partner, there is a possibility of the condom getting stuck inside of you. Most girls can't really tell if the condom slid off the penis and might not realize there is something inside of them until a few hours after sex. If you ever find yourself in this situation, don't freak out! Getting a condom stuck inside of you happens pretty often. The condom can slide off for a number of reasons - the condom is the wrong size, the sex is a little too rough, and so on. The best position to be in to easily get a condom out of your vagina is laying on your back with your legs bent to your sides. This opens your vagina wide enough to insert your fingers to take it out. The use of a mirror is helpful so you can see exactly where it is, rather than poking around the inside of your vagina. Source: iStock
Spermicide Condoms Can Cause IrritationAlthough condoms are 97 percent effective in protecting you against pregnancy and most STDs, they can still cause you some problems. Spermicide is an ingredient found in some condoms that kills sperm and adds lubrication. Spermicide contains the chemical, nonoxynol-9 which can cause irritation, itching or burning for both the male and female. N-9 may cause women to experience urinary tract infections, yeast infections and bacterial vaginosis after using condoms containing this ingredient. Continue reading about the side effects of N-9 in this article here. Source: iStock
Latex Allergies From Condoms Are A PossibilityIf you're not using spermicide condoms, yet you still experience some irritation down there and have cold-like symptoms, you might have a latex allergy. No need to panic about a latex allergy, it just means you have a reaction to certain proteins found in the rubber latex in the condoms you're using. Make an appointment with your doctor if you're experiencing symptoms to find out if you're allergic to latex. If that's the case, simply look for non-latex condoms to avoid this problem. Source: iStock
Talc Is A Dangerous Ingredient In Condoms For WomenHave you ever opened a condom and noticed a small dust of powder come out? That powder is talc, a dangerous ingredient some manufacturers use in the production of condoms. Particles of talc powder in latex condoms can enter a girl's body during sex and irritate tissues, potentially causing infertility (not able to have a baby), and cancer. To reduce these risks of infertility and potential cancer, use non-latex condoms when having sex. Source: iStock
Do you experience any weird side effects from condoms? Did we miss anything? Tell us in the comments below!