11 myths about condoms you shouldn’t believe
Since condoms are still only spoken about in whispers, there is bound to be a lot of false information out there.
Many studies show that double-bagging condoms can cause tears because of the friction it might create
Using a condom while you're on the pill might be double protection
STDs can be transmitted through oral sex and you should use condoms for it
You might or might not have heard the term “Double-bagging”. If you think we’re talking about that moment in the grocery store when you think a single flimsy bag won’t survive the weight of all your heavy items so you ask for another - well, you’d be wrong. Replace the grocery store with your bedroom and the bag with a condom, though, and you’ll get a clearer picture.
Since condoms are still only spoken about in whispers, there is bound to be a lot of false information out there. Even the internet isn’t always right, so you can’t turn to it with such important queries. It might be in your best interest to talk about things that bother or confuse you about contraception with your doctor. But to start off, please don’t believe anyone who tries to tell you that the following myths about condoms have any truth to them!
Myth 1: Two condoms are safer than one AKA “double-bagging”.
Fact: Excuse the analogy, but that’s like trying to use two umbrellas - definitely more trouble than it’s worth. There is no scientific backing for this claim - on the contrary, many studies show that double-bagging condoms can cause tears because of the friction it might create.
Myth 2: Using condoms means you don’t trust your partner.
Fact: If your partner is trying to use this excuse to go condom-free, please understand that’s manipulation. Condoms don’t just protect you from sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) and infections (STIs) but are also 98% effective in preventing pregnancies when used correctly. Even if you’re in an exclusive sexual relationship now, some STDs might not have any symptoms in men but they could still be carriers. It’s okay to prioritise your health and take a stand in such cases.
Myth 3: You don’t need to use a condom for oral sex.
Fact: Yes, you do! Sure, it might not seem sexy when you imagine it in your head but you know what’s the sexiest thing of all? Safe sex. STDs can be transmitted through oral sex and you should use condoms for it. Why do you think they come in so many flavours?
Myth 4: You don’t need condoms if the woman is taking oral contraceptives.
Fact: Oral contraception is an effective method of birth control. It does not, however, do anything when faced with STDs. Using a condom while you’re on the pill might be double protection - but only when it comes to getting pregnant. Wouldn’t you rather be safe than sorry?
Myth 5: Condoms make sex less enjoyable.
Fact: Don’t let anyone convince you of this. Safe sex can be very enjoyable - especially since you don’t need to worry as much about diseases and pregnancy. It’s all about technique and setting the mood. Also, a little bit of lube goes a long way.
Myth 6: All condoms are the same.
Fact: Standing in the medical store can be awkward - we know. You might not feel so comfortable looking at and comparing all of your options. But you can at home. Do your research about all the materials, sizes, textures, even flavours beforehand so you know exactly what to ask for when the time comes. Also, just because one condom didn’t suit you, doesn’t mean you can never use them again. There are non-latex versions available for people who are allergic to latex, even though they might be slightly less effective than the alternative. The different sizes aren’t just used for boasting - they ensure correct fit and fewer chances of a slip during intercourse. It’s okay to experiment until you find the one that suits you best.
Myth 7: Men are in-charge of condoms.
Fact: Your health is your business. Condoms are a part of that. Don’t ever feel ashamed of taking charge when it comes to making decisions or being proactive about contraception. It might take some getting used to when you’re buying them, sure, but that fades. Keep in mind that a chemist isn’t your only option any more - you can order them online, or through an app, for immediate delivery and even pick them up at supermarkets along with all your other groceries.
Myth 8: Condoms can be reused.
Fact: No, no, NO, never. Please don’t try this. They are designed for single-use and that’s all. Last year, the US Centres for Disease Control had to actually issue a statement reminding people not to wash and reuse a condom. Also, when you’re switching sex acts, even if you haven’t reached completion - use a new condom.
Myth 9: You don’t need a condom if you’re on your period.
Fact: A study found that the use of condoms is reduced by 15% during periods. While you might be less likely to get pregnant during this time (again, less likely - it isn’t impossible), the scare of STDs still exists. Your period offers no protection against that.
Myth 10: Condoms can cause urinary tract infections (UTIs).
There is very little truth to this. While condoms themselves don’t cause UTIs, spermicidal condoms can make you more susceptible. Other than that, sex in itself can make you more susceptible as it introduces new bacteria. But you have to consider this - since UTI can also be transferred through sex, using a condom is still your best bet. Always remember to pee before and after sex and keep yourself hydrated to reduce the chances of getting a UTI.
Myth 11: Condoms aren’t required the first time you have sex.
Fact: You can get pregnant the first time you have sex - it’s actually just as likely as the second time or the third time. It’s one of the few things that Bollywood movies got right!
Health articles in Firstpost are written by myUpchar.com, India’s first and biggest resource for verified medical information. At myUpchar, researchers and journalists work with doctors to bring you information on all things health. For more information, please read our article on Condoms: Types, and How to Put Them On.
The information provided here is intended to provide free education about certain medical conditions and certain possible treatment. It is not a substitute for examination, diagnosis, treatment, and medical care provided by a licensed and qualified health professional. If you believe you, your child or someone you know suffers from the conditions described herein, please see your health care provider immediately. Do not attempt to treat yourself, your child, or anyone else without proper medical supervision. You acknowledge and agree that neither myUpchar nor firstpost is liable for any loss or damage which may be incurred by you as a result of the information provided here, or as a result of any reliance placed by you on the completeness, accuracy or existence of any information provided herein.
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