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07.09.2013 Feature Article

CONDOMS FOR BIRTH CONTROL

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A condom is a contraceptive device consisting of a sheath that fits over the penis (manhood) and that is intended to prevent the escape of semen into the vagina. It is made of very thin, flexible rubber or a rubberlike plastic (latex). The condom has long been used as protection against venereal infections and other sexually transmitted diseases and as a contraceptive as well. Early condoms were generally made of animal gut or fish membrane and were often inefficient. At first they were usually washable but now are generally disposable and slightly lubricated. Efficient, convenient, but still disliked for its dulling of physical sensation, the condom fails mainly because of irregular use. It is effective forms of protection against a broad range of sexually transmitted diseases. There are both male and female condoms. The male condom is a thin, form-fitting sheath worn on the erect penis during sexual intercourse. The female condom consists of a thin polyurethane pouch with a ring on each end. The smaller, closed ring is placed inside the birth canal and the larger, open ring remains outside the body at the opening of the vagina (birth canal).


Male condoms: They have been used for thousands of years, dating back to ancient Egypt when men wore colorful sheaths to cover their penises (manhood). Condoms were first used to prevent sexually transmitted infections (STIs) and pregnancy in the 1600s when King Charles II of England used condoms made of sheep intestines. Early versions of the modern condom were developed and became popular in the 18th century.

Today, approximately 15 percent of Zambian women 15 to 44 years old who use contraception rely on male condoms. Condoms are the most common form of birth control among teenagers, single women, women with no children, and women who want to have additional children. With typical prudent use, condoms are 86 percent effective in preventing pregnancy especially if it is an original product of choice.

The male condom must be placed on the erect penis before the penis is inserted into the vagina. The condom catches and holds sperm after ejaculation (the release of sperm from the penis). After ejaculation, a man should withdraw his penis from the vagina before his penis loses its erection and the condom leaks or slips off. A condom can be used only once. Palm size or feet size has in some scientific researches been associated with manhood size and so is the height of a man but this may not correspond as factual in some physical examination due to genetic and nutritional factors. However, the condom is manufactured to fit any normal mature man regardless of race, tribe or ethnicity.

Most male condoms are made of latex or polyurethane, although a small number of condoms available in other parts of the world are made of animal tissue such as sheep membrane. Only latex and polyurethane condoms provide protection against STIs, including human immunodeficiency virus (HIV), which causes acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS). People who are sensitive or allergic to latex should use a polyurethane condom.

Male condoms are available without prescription in retail stores. They may be dry or lubricated and may contain spermicide (foam or jelly that kills sperm). Condoms with spermicide provide additional contraceptive protection, especially if the condom accidentally breaks or slips off. Condoms with spermicide may also increase protection against STIs. Lubricated condoms do not offer additional contraceptive or STI protection, but lubrication may help prevent the condom from tearing during intercourse. Latex or polyurethane condoms can be lubricated with water-based products or contraceptive foams or jellies, but only polyurethane condoms should be coated with oil-based products such as petroleum jelly, since these products can weaken latex and cause a latex condom to tear.

Condoms may break, tear, or slip off during intercourse. Some studies in fertility clinic indicate that many men are victim of personality sexual disorder and would want some expression of painful experience in a woman for them to feel they have performed to expectation which may not be the case always. Nevertheless, condoms if used as a choice of birth control requires some gentle action unlike convulsive irresponsible aerobics that reduces the effectiveness of condoms especially that counterfeit products may be our accidental choice at that moment. Latex condoms stored close to the body, such as in a pants pocket, may break or tear more readily because heat harms the latex. Some people feel that condoms hinder sexual spontaneity because a couple must interrupt sexual activity to put on a condom before sexual intercourse. In addition, some men feel that wearing a condom lessens their sensation.

Female condoms; They acts as a barrier by forming a sheath between the penis and the vagina, preventing sperm from reaching and fertilizing an egg. The female condom is made of polyurethane so it can be used with both water- and oil-based lubricants. Like the male condom, it should be used only once and removed immediately after ejaculation. With typical use, the female condom's effectiveness in preventing pregnancy is 79 percent. The female condom reduces the risk of many STIs. However, it is the least used condom by choice and unfortunately even women themselves least appreciate their utility. A female condom actually empowers women to have some control in the reduction of sexually transmitted infections and prevention of unplanned for pregnancies.

The female condom is available without a prescription in retail stores. It can be inserted in the vagina several hours before intercourse. Some users find it difficult to insert it. In addition, the outer ring can slip into the vagina and the condom can twist during intercourse. Some couples find it irritating to the penis or the vagina.

Modern high-quality condoms have the advantage of simplicity of use and anonymity of distribution. They are sold in pharmacies, in supermarkets, through the mail, and even in barber shops and at news- stands. The acceptance of condoms has been increased in recent decades by advances in packaging and lubrication and, more recently, by the addition of a spermicide. Morally we might have failed to stop the shameful, disgraceful and corrupt acts on our roads that might have led to accidents due to faulty vehicles but talking about it does not make it a taboo hence the issues of condoms concerns life like any life that may be lost in an accident. Our heart bleeds for those that may have accidentally used the counterfeit condom but it is important to note here that family planning corners at every government clinic offers free original condoms as a method of birth control. Abstinence has not been compromised by marketing of counterfeit condoms, it has still remained at 100 percent in prevention of STIs and for couples periodical abstinence can be utilized for birth control.

JONES. H. MUNANG'ANDU (author)
Motivational speaker, health commentator &
Health practitioner
Mobile; 0966565670/0979362525

JONES H. MUNANG’ANDU
JONES H. MUNANG’ANDU, © 2013

The author has 185 publications published on Modern Ghana.Column: JONESHMUNANGANDU

Disclaimer: "The views/contents expressed in this article are the sole responsibility of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect those of Modern Ghana. Modern Ghana will not be responsible or liable for any inaccurate or incorrect statements contained in this article."

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