Condoms are cool! An entire month is dedicated to how awesome they are (so there must be some truth behind that, right?!).
Here are my top 3 reasons you should use a condom:
- You’re in love, but not ready to have a family. Condoms help you control your plan for a family.
- You don’t want (or you don’t want your partner to get) cervical cancer. Some strains (there are over 100!) of the human papillomavirus (also known as HPV) can lead to genital warts and even cervical cancer.
- You’re not ready for a lifelong commitment. If you become infected with HIV, you’ll not only have a lifelong commitment to the disease (costing more than a half-million dollars!), you’ll also have a lifelong date with your doctor and your pharmacist. Read more here.
Pretty convincing, huh?
Here’s my best advice for your newly discovered condom-loving self.
- Always check the condom’s expiration date.
- Never open the condom wrapper with your teeth (it might sound sexy, but a positive pregnancy test a month later…not so sexy!).
- Thinking lubricant might add some fun? Choose a water-based lubricant (DO NOT USE: petroleum jelly, vegetable oil, whip cream, chocolate sauce, cheese whiz or any other non-water-based lubricant!).
- Do not store condoms in your glove compartment. Condoms should not be exposed to high levels of heat (hello summer time in South Carolina!). Store condoms in a cool, dry place (like the infamous sock drawer!).
- Do not carry condoms in your wallet (the wear and tear your wallet can have on delicate condoms can create a messy situation later).
- Never re-use a condom (recycling is good…but NOT for condoms!).
- One condom is all you need (do not double up on condoms. The friction will cause them to rip!).
- While two condoms are not better than one, pairing a contraceptive method (dual protection) with a condom is always best! Check out the contraceptive comparison tool on CarolinaTeenHealth.org to help choose which is best for you!
- For more guidance, watch this super cute video, Condom Sense.
- Always follow the 9 steps (can you believe there are NINE STEPS?!) for using a condom.
Remember – condoms are cool!