5 Condom Facts You Didn’t Learn in Health Class

By ASTROGLIDE Team Sexual Health

Condoms Have Been Around For A Long Time

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 depicts what anthropologists believe to a man using a condom, likely made of animal skin.

Condoms Have a Shelf Life of Four Years

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 glove box of your car in August) that you discard them, as it can make them less effective. Using a damaged condom could lead to an unintended pregnancy. You might want to replace that condom that’s been in your wallet or purse for a while now. Make sure to protect you and your partner’s reproductive health.

Condoms Are Insanely Effective in Preventing HIV Transmission

Exactly how effective are condoms? When it comes to preventing HIV transmission, condoms are a staggering 10,000 times more effective than not using a condom. Not bad for a little piece of latex!

Not only are condoms great at preventing HIV infection, but they are also very effective at preventing a variety of sexually transmitted diseases like genital herpes and HPV.

Lube for condoms

Only Certain Types of Lubes Should be Used with Condoms

While many water-based, silicone-based, and hybrid lubes are safe to use with condoms, certain kinds of lubricant like oil-based lube can break down the latex of a condom causing it to become porous, and therefore, less effective for having safe sex due to an increased risk in condom breakage.

To play it safe, always make sure that a particular lube is safe to use with condoms before trying it out.

(Hint: Most of ASTROGLIDE’s lubes are latex-safe, check the packaging for compatibility details. We can even send you a free sample!)

Latex Condoms Aren’t Your Only Option

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 want to consider a natural skin condom or polyurethane condoms.

Many couples rave about the increased sensitivity and bigger condom size that natural lambskin 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.

Another tip is that Planned Parenthood offers free condoms for safe sex, so no excuse! If you are sexually active and want t to protect yourself from an unplanned pregnancy, then visit your local family planning clinic and stock up on some free condoms. Condoms are shown to be as effective as the pill for birth control, but you can’t be too careful. Practice good sexual health hygiene to prevent contracting a sexually transmitted disease by using condoms if you have multiple sexual partners.

Did any of our condom facts surprise you?

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.