If you’ve ever taken a health class, chances are you’re familiar with condoms. Condoms are one of the least expensive and most prevalently used forms of birth control worldwide, while also providing protection against STIs and STDs. However, although as many as 1 in 4 sexual encounters in the United States are condom-protected, there are still plenty of condom facts that most people don’t know. Here are a few of our favorites:
Believe it or not, the earliest evidence of condom use dates back to 11,000 B.C. A painting on the wall in the Grotte des Combarrelles caves in France depict what anthropologists believe to a man using a condom, likely made of animal skin.
As long as condoms are kept in a cool, dry place, they can be good for up to four years, so don’t be afraid to stock up. Just make sure that if your condoms are exposed to heat (like being left in the glovebox of your car in August) that you discard them, as it can make them less effective.
Exactly how effective are condoms? When it comes to preventing HIV, condoms are a staggering 10,000 times more effective than not using a condom. Not bad for a little piece of latex!
While many water-based, silicone-based, and hybrid lubes are safe to use with condoms, certain kinds of lube like oil-based lube can break down the latex of a condom causing it to become porous, and therefore, less effective.
When most people think of condoms, they think of latex. However, there are plenty of latex-free condoms out there. If you have a latex allergy or are looking for condoms for sensitive skin, you might want to consider a natural skin condom.
Many couples rave about the increased sensitivity and bigger condom size that natural skin condoms provide, however, the way they are made (from animal intestines) can make some people squeamish. Also, while they protect against pregnancy, natural skin condoms don’t protect against STDs, so these should only be considered by monogamous couples.
There are a few other latex-free condom options on the market including condoms made from polyurethane or polyisoprene provide the strength and STD protection of latex, but are much easier on sensitive skin. Either way, if latex condoms aren’t your thing, you have options.
Do you have any other interesting condom facts that you’d like to share? Tweet us at @ASTROGLIDE and tell us about it.
Want to read more about popular contraception practices? Check out our post on the pros and cons of the withdrawal method.
Images are for illustrative purposes only.