There are many myths/beliefs attached to using condom/contraceptives which has given rise to excuses among people. Condom and contraceptive usage is one of the ways of having safe sex.
These are some of the myths on condoms and contraceptives
Myth 1: Condoms are a challenge to use
Fact: Everything appears to be difficult or challenging if you will be doing them for the first time. But with proper practice or regular use, eventually you will get a hang of it. Condoms on the other hand are not difficult to use! If you follow the best practices or the proper instructions on the use of one, then you will and can never go wrong. Also, these are taught in sex education classes. As a matter of fact, the students are taught and instructed to practice on wooden models. Remember that this is for your health and that of your partner’s so it is important to know what you should do. Practice makes perfect!
Myth 2: Condoms are just for men
Fact: Although condoms were initially produced for the use of sexually active men, and most stores carry condoms for guys; women can now enjoy the benefits of wearing one. These are available at stores. The female condoms are worn, also only during intercourse.
Myth 3: It’s safer if you use two condoms.
Fact: No it isn’t. Using two condoms at once is a really bad idea, whether it’s two male condoms or a male and female condom. It increases the chances of them ripping. Only use one at a time.
Myth 4: Condoms break easily.
Fact: No they don’t. To avoid a condom breaking, you need to put it on carefully, ensuring there’s no air bubble at the end. Be careful of sharp nails, jewellery or teeth. If the condom won’t roll down, it’s the wrong way round. Throw this condom away and start again with a new one as there could be semen on the tip of the previous condom.
If a condom breaks and you’re not using any other contraception, go to a clinic, pharmacist or doctor as soon as possible and ask about emergency contraception. You’ll also need to get tested for sexually transmitted infections (STIs).
Myth 5: If I ask to use a condom, my partner will think less of me.
Fact: Insisting that your partner use a condom suggests that you know how to take care of yourself and shows that you know what you want.
Myth 6: I don’t need a condom – I only sleep with nice and decent people.
Fact: STIs don’t know or care if you’re nice/decent or not. The way someone looks is no indicator of whether they have an STI. Many STIs don’t show any symptoms, so you could infect each other without even knowing it. Also, HIV/AIDS doesn’t know if someone is decent
Myth 7: You don’t need to use a contraceptive, if he pulls out before ejaculation
Fact: No matter how quick and efficient he is in bed, ‘withdrawal’ is definitely not a reliable method, if you want to prevent pregnancy. The fluid secreted by a man for lubrication before ejaculation, also contain sperms. So even if he ejaculates near the vagina, there’s a chance it can lead to pregnancy. If you are planning on using this method over an extended period of time, you should know that it isn’t 100 per cent safe.
Myth 8: I don’t need contraception because we only have sex during the “safe” time. You’re only fertile one day a month.
Facts: Myths such as these most likely arise from a lack of understanding of the menstrual cycle. There are four major hormones (chemicals that stimulate or regulate the activity of cells or organs) involved in the menstrual cycle: follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH), luteinizing hormone (LH), estrogen, and progesterone. A delicate balance of these hormones regulates ovulation, and if the egg is not fertilized, menstruation occurs. While a woman’s cycle is more or less regular at most times, this balance of hormones can be disrupted by various factors, including age, weight, stress, medications, and others. Therefore, pinpointing the time of ovulation and predicting any “safe” days can be difficult. Couples who have success with the rhythm method of contraception must carefully monitor the women’s menstrual cycles and evaluate symptoms of ovulation, as well as any external factors.
Myth 9: The Emergency Contraception (EC) pill is the same thing as an abortion pill.
Fact: EC is NOT an abortion pill. The purpose of EC is to stop a pregnancy before it starts. It can be taken up to 5 days after unprotected sex. If a woman is already pregnant when she takes EC, her pregnancy will not end.
Myth 10: The pill ups your cancer risks.
Fact: Actually, the risk of endometrial and ovarian cancers goes down the longer you’re on the pill. After one year, endometrial-cancer risk decreases by 50 percent, and after just three to six months, ovarian-cancer risk decreases by 40 percent. After 10 years, the risks are 80 percent lower than normal. “The longer you keep the endometrium thin and the ovaries inactive, you are reducing the chance of the inappropriate cell division that characterizes cancer,” says Katharine O’Connell, M.D., assistant clinical professor of OB-GYN at Columbia University. The pill may also lower the risk of colon cancer.
Will a condom protect me from sexually transmitted diseases (STDs)?
A condom will protect you from some STDs, but not all of them. There are some STDs that can be transmitted by skin–to-skin contact, like genital warts, HPV and genital herpes and a condom will not provide 100% protection against these.