The male condom, which consists of a sheath placed over the erect penis, has been used for centuries to prevent pregnancy and infection. Made of latex, polyurethane, and lambskin, condoms provide a convenient, inexpensive, and widely available method of birth control and protection from sexually transmitted diseases and infections. They do not have the side effects and complications entailed with birth control pills, hormonal shots, and intrauterine devices. Without them, the risk for both disease and pregnancy skyrockets.
Primarily, condoms act as a barrier to prevent semen from entering the vagina, which means sperm cannot fertilize the egg, but it must work as designed to achieve this goal. First, the male should put on the condom before any sexual contact but after arousal because some sperm might exit the penis upon arousal, thus making pregnancy possible. After ejaculation, the male should grasp the base of the penis upon withdrawal to prevent slippage and, therefore, spillage. They should remove their penis from their partner while still erect and remove the condom and dispose of it in the trash.
By following the directions, men can avoid impregnating their partners. Without a condom or another form of birth control, a sexually active couple will become pregnant 85 out of 100 times. With a male condom, couples can reduce their risk to 2 pregnancies per 100 couples. Clearly, sex without a condom entails an enormous pregnancy risk.
For both heterosexual and homosexual couples, condoms provide one of the best methods to stop the spread of sexually transmitted diseases and infections. Spread through skin-to-skin contact, blood, semen, or female lubricant, sexually transmitted diseases such as HIV, gonorrhea, chlamydia, genital warts, genital herpes, and syphilis can cause pain and death. By reducing skin-to-skin contact and preventing male and female sexual fluids from contacting the partner, condoms have the right to design to make them effective against the spread of all these diseases and infections.
In fact, many health clinics will give them to people for free to help prevent the spread of disease in their communities. According to research from the American Sexual Health Association, more than one half of all people in the United States will have an STD or STI at some point during their life.
According to the Center for Disease Control, 19.7 new sexually transmitted infections arise each year. In total, one out of every two sexually active adults will contact an STD or STI by age 25. Without a condom, the risks skyrocket. It only takes one unprotected encounter to receive an infection, such as HIV, that will last forever and perhaps kill its victim. For these reasons, men and women should demand the use of a condom each time from themselves and for their male partners.