Importance of Condoms – Effective against STDs

Condoms are thin coverings which are used during sexual intercourse to prevent or reduce the probability of pregnancy and sexually transmitted diseases.

By Jose Quilca

The condom is one of the methods for birth control and also aids in preventing sexually transmitted diseases (HIV, gonorrhea, chlamydia, and trichomoniasis). Availability of condoms is for both males and females. Their use is extensively recommended for the prevention of sexually transmitted infections (STDs). Consistent use of condoms has shown an effective reduction in infection rates in both men and women. However, a condom is effective in decreasing the transmission of organisms that cause AIDS, genital herpes, cervical cancer, genital warts, syphilis, chlamydia, gonorrhea, and other diseases.

What is a sexually transmitted disease (STD)?

Sexually transmitted diseases also known as venereal diseases (VD) are a group of infectious diseases which is caused by bacteria, yeast or virus. These diseases are transmitted from one person to another through unprotected sexual contact.
Examples of different sexually transmitted diseases include: chlamydia, chancroid, crabs (pubic lice), genital herpes, genital warts, hepatitis B, HIV, HPV, trichomoniasis, molluscum contagiosum, pelvic inflammatory disease, syphilis, gonorrhea.
The WHO (World Health Organization) assessed that there are more than 1 million new STDs acquired each day around the world. Individuals aged 15-24 acquire half of all new STDs, and 1 in 4 sexually active adolescent females has an STD, such as human papillomavirus or chlamydia. Compared with older adults, individuals aged 15-24 have a higher risk of getting STDs.

Condoms – Barrier against STDs

Condoms provide different levels of protection for various STDs working as a “barrier”, depending on differences in how the diseases are transmitted. Condoms work by blocking the transmission and acquisition of STDs by preventing contact between the condom wearer’s penis and a sex partner’s skin, mucosa, and genital secretions. A bigger level of protection is provided for the diseases transmitted by genital secretions.

The 2000 NIH review determined that condom use significantly reduces the risk of gonorrhea for men. A 2006 study reports that proper condom use decreases the risk of transmission of human papillomavirus (HPV) to women by approximately 70%. A related study in the same year found consistent condom use was effective in reduction of transmission of herpes simplex virus-2 also known as genital herpes, in both men and women.

Condoms may also be useful in treating possibly precancerous cervical changes. Exposure to human papillomavirus, even in individuals already infected with the virus, appears to increase the risk of precancerous changes. The use of condoms helps promote deterioration of these changes. Researchers in the UK suggest that a hormone in semen can aggravate existing cervical cancer; condom use during sex can prevent exposure to the hormone.

Condoms – Better option than contraceptive pills and IUD

Condoms are often recommended as an addition to more effective birth control methods (contraceptive pills and IUD) in situations where STD protection is also preferred. Condoms are proven to be 98% effect against STDs and pregnancy when used consistently. The major advantage of condoms over contraceptive pill is to protect from including HIV. The pill protects neither partner from any of these diseases.
Since birth control pills interfere with hormonal activity, the risks of side effects range from very chronic to acute, the most chronic of which include the increased risk of stroke or blood clots. Some women while on pills may experience weight gain and decreased libido, among many other minor side effects.

Condoms – effective against other diseases as well

Apart, from the use of condoms in STDs it has its uses in many other diseases or conditions such as in urinary tract Infection (UTI’s), many vaginal infections caused by yeast or herpes and bacterial vaginitis. It not only gives protection from the spreading of the infection but also protect from getting it chronic and leading to other major problems.

AdvaCare offers 100% natural, high-quality latex condoms available in a wide range of textures, flavors, and colors. They are available in non-lubricated and lubricated, textures that include plain, studded/dotted, ribbed, and flavors including unflavored, vanilla, mint, chocolate, coffee, jasmine, rose, strawberry, banana, apple, cherry, and grape, and varying thicknesses and colors.

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