A popular saying goes that “A hug spreads love, a condom spreads safety “, and this is true, as a condom is one of the methods of contraception that can be used by both men and women and the method that provides protection from Sexually Transmitted Diseases.
A condom (commonly known as a hood) is an object usually made of latex or polyurethane that is used during sexual intercourse. There are both male and female condoms, but the former is more common.
Latex male condoms are placed on the irritated penis just before intercourse. In contrast, the female condom is placed inside the vagina even hours before intercourse.
Manufacturers in recent years have marketed many types of condoms that differ in color, size, thickness, and even taste. In some, a spermicidal liquid is also used for greater effectiveness.
Older types of condoms made from intestine animals are still available on the market. They are mainly used by people allergic to latex but are not as effective in protecting against sexually transmitted diseases.
Polyethylene and polyurethane condoms are effective and compatible with oil-based lubricants and are also used by people allergic to latex.
As a method of birth control, condoms have the advantage of the ease of use and minimal side effects, as well as protection against sexually transmitted diseases. They are typically 85% successful, a rate that can reach 98% with proper use and in combination with a spermicidal liquid or medication.
There are two possible scenarios for how the condom got its name. It may come from Condos, the container in Latin, or it may have been named after the physician to Charles II of England, Dr. Condom or Quondam, who made cases of animal intestines for his king.
The condom since ancient times – Historical review
The condom is not a modern innovation. The history of the condom can be traced back several millennia, to the times of Ancient Egypt, when it was used to protect against disease and infection, just as it is today.
The oldest depiction of condoms is 12,000 – 15,000 years old and was found in a cave in France. Another 3,000-year-old image was found in Egypt.
In 2000 B.C. the Egyptians used a kind of condom made of membrane taken from crocodiles.
The first use of condoms can be traced back to ancient Egypt in 1220 BC. since then the condom has protected man from disease and infection.
The earliest evidence of condom use in Europe is from cave paintings at Combarelles in France and is estimated to be from around 100 to 200 AD.
In 1564 the Italian anatomist Gabrielle Fallopius designed the first condom to protect against syphilis. It was a case of linen and rubber, tied at the edge with a pink ribbon. He tested his idea on more than 1,100 men and, according to his results, none contracted syphilis.
From 1500 to 1840, popular materials for making condoms included tortoiseshell, leather (preferred by the ancient Japanese), flax, oil paper, fish bladders, and animal intestines.
The earliest condoms were found in England and were made in 1640. They are made from animal intestines and were probably used to protect against disease.
Linen condoms were used by Casanovas in the 18th century. But they were not particularly effective.
Specialty condom shops first appeared in Amsterdam in the 1700s, and by mid-century, the fad had spread to London, where the most luxurious of these sold condoms formed on glass molds and scented.
Condoms made from animal intestines were in use by the European aristocracy during the 18th century.
The first advertisement for the “machine that protects against the wounds of love” appeared in the Tatler, in the May 12, 1709 issue. The first advertisement for condoms in America appeared in 1861 in the New York Times.
Until the 1840s condoms were made from the animal gut and fish bladders in factories where many little girls worked.
In 1843, the revolutionary latex vulcanization process was invented by Goodyear and Hancock. Vulcanization is the method or process of treating raw latex with sulfur and subjecting it to intense heat. This process turns the raw latex into a strong elastic material (rubber). This method made it possible to mass produce more reliable and less expensive products including condoms. Mass production of condoms began in 1844.
In the 1930s, the use of liquid latex begins, displacing rubber condoms because they were expensive and difficult to use. Liquid latex remains to this day the basis for the manufacture of condoms. The latex condom can expand 800% and hold at least 9 gallons of air.
For that matter, condoms made from animal guts are still available today and used by people who are allergic to latex.
In 1994, the first polyurethane condom was introduced in America, targeting users who are allergic to latex. Allergy symptoms can range from itching to shortness of breath, hypertension, and shock.
Polyurethane is a unique material, which is twice as strong as latex, allowing the creation of a thinner, more sensitive membrane.
Recently a Colombian condom company introduced condom underwear. The underwear has a thin resinous membrane that elongates like a condom.
A. The male condom
The male condom is a thin sheath made of latex, vinyl, or natural products and is placed on the penis during erection so that during intercourse the sperm is collected inside the sheath, preventing it from gaining access to the female reproductive system and at the same time preventing the transmission of sexually transmitted diseases.
- As long as it is used properly, it is 98% safe.
- It must therefore be kept away from the sun and applied well during intercourse.
- It must be removed immediately after the completion of the sexual act with the help of two fingers so that there is no risk of semen spilling into the vagina.
- The thickness of the condoms ranges from 0.02mm to 0.085mm. Condoms pre-lubricated with the spermicide nonoxynol-9 are more effective than condoms without spermicide. The risk of condom rupture is around 3% and is thought to be related to friction and incorrect fitting.
If a lubricant is used at the same time as the condom, it should be water-based. Lubricants based on fat-soluble substances, such as mineral oil, petroleum jelly, butter, baby oil, margarine, or cooking oil, should be avoided because they can cause the condom to tear.
The advantages of the condom as a method of contraception are many:
- – Protects against sexually transmitted diseases.
- – It also protects against the consequences of sexually transmitted diseases, pelvic inflammation, cervical cancer, etc.
- – It is a safe method
- – It is a completely reversible method.
- – It has no hormonal side effects.
- – It is a cheap method and can be used by men of any age of age.
- – Does not require frequent medical follow-up.
- – It is available almost everywhere.
- – It has a beneficial effect in the case of premature ejaculation.
The disadvantages of the condom are mainly the following:
- – It cannot be used by those who are allergic to latex.
- – It reduces the sexual pleasure and the sense of pleasure.
- – Presupposes the man’s cooperation in contraception.
- – Care is required both in its use and in its preservation before it.
- – It cannot be used with lubricants based on fat solvents substances.
- – The couple should be informed and have access to emergency contraception in case of condom rupture, which accounts for the vast majority of method failures.
B. The female condom
The female condom is a thin soft plastic film made of polyurethane, with two flexible rings at its two ends, one closed and one open. After insertion, one ring remains outside the vagina, covering the lips of the vulva, and the second is inserted deep into the vagina, preventing sperm from entering the vagina and
reaching the cervix. It hugs the inside of the vagina and covers the cervix like an upside-down male condom.
Female condoms are larger and wider than male condoms. They are better known in developing countries than in developed ones. They are more difficult to use and much more expensive than men, which discourages their use.
The female condom is made of polyurethane, which is why it does not cause any type of allergy.
The advantages of using the female condom are:
- – It is a contraceptive method controlled by the woman
- – Effective also in the prevention of sexually transmitted diseases
- – It has no specific contraindications to its use
- – It very rarely creates a local allergic reaction in the woman.
- – No prescription is needed
- – Fertility returns as soon as its use is stopped
- – Can be placed at any time, up to 4 hours before intercourse
- – Medically safe
- – Reduces vaginal sensitivity
- – Protruding outside the vagina thing which can be unsightly for some couples
- – Requires correct placement (Difficulty may arise in its application)
- – Higher cost than the male condom (relatively expensive to use)
- – Requires the consent of the partner
- – It is disposable
Effectiveness of the female condom:
The method’s success rates are the same as the male condom.
Initial efficacy studies in the US showed a 15% failure rate at 6 months. Re-analysis showed that with proper use the failure rate is only 2.6%. This rate is comparable to the corresponding rates for the diaphragm and cervical capsule. Colposcopic studies of women who used the female condom showed no signs of damage and the bacterial flora had not changed.
Other studies have shown failure rates around 21%. Protection against sexually transmitted diseases has not been studied extensively.
General comments about condoms
Many people (women and men) complain that both male and female condoms reduce sexual satisfaction since there is no direct contact with the sexual organs during penetration.
Differences between polyurethane and latex condoms
- – Polyurethane condoms transfer the temperature better.
- – Latex condoms have higher success rates.
- – Polyurethane condoms can be used with lubricants.
- – Latex condoms are cheaper.
- – Polyurethane condoms do not cause allergies.
- – Latex condoms are more effective in protecting against sexually transmitted diseases.
- – Polyurethane condoms do not have a scent like Latex.
- – Latex condoms deteriorate at high temperatures.
- – Polyurethane condoms are smoother.
Efficacy of condoms as a contraceptive method
The effectiveness of condoms, as a birth control method, can be calculated in two ways: method effectiveness and actual effectiveness. The first method shows the percentage of couples who use the method correctly and consistently with the desired results. The real one is the percentage of couples who use condoms as the only method of contraception, including incorrect and occasional non-use.
As is clear, the real efficiency is less for the following reasons mainly:
- – Errors in the instructions given by the manufacturers
- – Errors in use
- – Hardware failure (breaking during use)
Theoretically, the efficiency of the method reaches 98%. Actual pregnancy rates among condom users vary depending on the population being examined with annual rates of 10-18% per year.
Reasons for failure
The reasons for failure are mainly the following:
- Damage when opening the package
- Damage from improper storage (high temperature, etc.)
- Expiration date
- Slipping off the condom during use for no apparent reason
- Experienced users have less chance of failure and those who have one failure are more likely to have a similar failure in the future.
- It is believed that information about the correct use reduces the chances of failure.
Efficacy of prevention of sexually transmitted diseases
According to a study by the American Institute of Health, the correct and continuous use of condoms leads to:
(a) Reduce the risk of AIDS transmission by 85%
(b) Reduction of gonorrhea acquisition by men by 71%
(c) In a study by the University of Washington, it appears that its transmission is decreasing
human wart virus by about 70%.
(d) Other studies have shown that correct and consistent condom use precludes
the transmission of the AIDS virus from a patient to a non-patient.