It’s no coincidence that Valentine’s Day and National Condom Day fall on the same day… but in terms of which one we’re celebrating, well that’s a no brainer.
Here at Play Safe, we’ll take any excuse to celebrate condoms, but today, on National Condom Day, we’re going in *deep*.
When it comes to safe sex, nothing beats a condom.
Did you know that condoms are the only form of contraception that protects against both sexually transmitted infections (STIs) and unplanned pregnancies?
These days, condoms are easy to find, easy to use and there’s a condom for everyone. But this wasn’t always the case…
Over the years, there have been countless attempts to develop what we know today as a condom. Here are some of the highlights.
This should go without saying, but do not try any of these at home.
These days, it’s estimated that over 22 billion condoms are produced around the world each year and we’re pleased to report that they’re better than ever.
Did you know that there are more than one kind of condom? That’s right, no matter what kind of sex you’re having, there’s a condom option for you!
The most common condom is made of a thin piece of latex (rubber) or polyurethane (a type of soft plastic) which is put onto an erect (hard) penis before having vaginal, anal or oral sex. There’s a variety of sizes, colours, flavours and textures so be sure to try a few different options until you find a one that works for you.
You can get external condoms from a chemist, supermarket or servo or even online. Find our other places you can get condoms here.
Allergic to latex? Never fear! Latex-free condoms are readily available across Australia.
Check out our guide to putting on an external condom here.
Internal condoms are made from polyurethane and can be inserted into the vagina or anus before sex. They are about 15cm long and have two flexible rings, one at each end, to keep them in place. These are sometimes referred to as female condoms.
Internal condoms can be hard to find though so if you want to try them, your best bet is online.
Check out our guide to using internal condoms here.
Dental dams are thin, stretchy latex or silicone rectangles that can be used during oral sex to prevent STIs. In Australia, dams can be expensive and hard to find BUT it’s super easy to transform an external condom into a dam, with a little DIY.
It’s all well and good to use condoms, but it’s important that you’re using them consistency and correctly. Here are some of our do’s and don’t when it comes to condoms.
If you’ve had a condom break during sex, don’t panic. Instead follow these simple steps:
If your STI test comes back positive your treating clinician will advise you on treatment and what to do next. Remember that treatment for many STIs is quick and easy.
Condoms offer excellent protection but there’s still a small chance of passing on an STIs to your partner/s which is why regular STI testing every 6-12 months is so important, even if you use condoms and/or other contraception.
If you’ve ever had vaginal, oral, or anal sex then there is a chance that you could have an STI.
Did you know that many STIs have no symptoms and if left untreated can cause long-term health concerns? That’s why it’s so important to get tested every 6-12 months, even if you’re using condoms and/or other contraception.
STI testing is confidential, often free and as easy as a quick blood test and urine sample.
So what are you waiting for? Find you nearest STI testing location today.
If you want to know more about condoms or STIs, call NSW Sexual Health Infolink on 1800 451 624 to talk with a qualified sexual health nurse. It’s free, confidential and totally anonymous. If you’d prefer to ask a question online, click here.