February is not just about Cupid, it’s also National Condom Month.
Every year in the United States there are approximately 19 million new cases of sexually transmitted infections (STI), half of these cases are men and women between the ages of 15-24.
Not all STIs have noticeable symptoms and can be passed from person to person before most partners even know they have an infection. What’s worse is that, left untreated, STIs can an extensive list of additional medical issues, including infertility. Using a latex condom properly and consistently is the best way to protect against many STIs, including HIV and chlamydia.
It’s imperative to take charge of your sexual health by protecting yourself as well as your partner by using a condom every time.
How to put a condom on.
- First things first: Before you use a condom, check the expiration date. Just like cheese, condoms can go bad. (Outdated condoms break easier.)
- Put the condom on before penetration. Pre-ejaculate or pre-cum—the fluid that leaks from the penis before ejaculation — can contain sperm from the last time you ejaculated.
- One condom per erection, please. (So stock up.)
- Be careful not to tear the condom when you’re unwrapping it. If it’s torn, brittle, or stiff, toss it and use another.
- If you are not circumcised, pull back your foreskin before rolling on the condom.
- Leave a half-inch of extra space at the tip to collect the semen, then pinch the air out of the tip.
- Unroll the condom over the penis as far as it will go.
- Smooth out any air bubbles—they can cause condoms to break.
How to take a condom off.
- Make sure to pull out before you lose your erection.
- Hold on to the base of the condom while you pull out so that semen doesn’t spill out.
- Throw the condom away in a trash can (preferably one that is out of the reach of children and pets). Don’t flush it down the toilet! That’s just bad for your plumbing.
- Make sure to wash up your penis with soap and water before engaging in sex, even with the same partner.
Don’t be shy, talk to your partner about using protection before you engage in sexual intercourse. A good way to approach the subject may be to shop for condoms together. Dealing with the topic before the situation presents itself ensures that you establish boundaries before you can get caught up in the moment.
For more information visit The American Social Health Association website.