Free Condom Facts
Condoms come in a variety of colors, styles, scents, tastes, thickness and sizes. They are made from different materials and only through trial and error will you discover which free condoms are the best fit and comfort for you. There are 3 main materials used when making condoms:
Latex: This type of rubber is most used in condoms. It protects against STDs and pregnancy, but of course, as with anything, they're not 100% reliable and with excessive friction or pressure, latex may rip, to help with problem be sure to use plenty of water based “latex friendly” personal lubricant. Some people are allergic to latex symptoms include skin rash, itching, hives, and dizziness, consult with your doctor.
Polyurethane - One of the newest materials for condoms, it's nearly twice as strong and thick as latex. But that's not all; because this material heats up with body temperature, it can be the closest thing to skin-to-skin contact.
Animal Membrane - This was the original condom material and has been used since ever since. This type of condom and are very expensive, but if you're in a monogamous, STD-free relationship and want to prevent pregnancy, this may be the way to go. Keep in mind that lambskin condoms are also quite pricey. You can use oil or oil based lubricant with these types of condoms.
It is a well know fact that latex condoms are extremely effective in prevention of sexually transmitted diseases, they are virtually certain of blocking passage of genital fluids and their constituents between sex partners. Birth control pills and vasectomy are only meant to prevent pregnancy and has absolutely no effect of preventing sexually transmitted diseases. Unlike pregnancy prevention, in which the unintended outcome can only occur during a portion of the menstrual cycle and during the reproductive years, disease transmission can occur during each and every act of intercourse for all persons, regardless of age. Despite this heightened risk, inconsistent or non-use of condoms is common even among persons at very high risk of STD exposure, so please use condoms.
With more than 1 million Americans infected with HIV, most of them through sexual transmission, and an estimated 12 million other sexually transmitted diseases occurring each year in the United States, effective strategies for preventing these diseases are critical.
The proper and consistent use of latex condoms when engaging in sexual intercourse vaginal, anal, or oral can greatly reduce a person's risk of acquiring or transmitting STDs, including HIV infection. In fact, recent studies provide compelling evidence that latex condoms are highly effective in protecting against HIV infection when used properly for every act of intercourse.
Latex condoms are highly effective when used consistently and correctly-- new studies provide additional evidence that condoms work.
There continues to be misinformation and misunderstanding about condom effectiveness. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) provides the following updated information to address some common myths about condoms. This information is based on findings from recent epidemiologic, laboratory, and clinical studies.
Myth #1: Condoms don't work
Some persons have expressed concern about studies that report failure rates among couples using condoms for pregnancy prevention. Analysis of these studies indicates that the large range of efficacy rates is related to incorrect or inconsistent use. The fact is: latex condoms are highly effective for pregnancy prevention, but only when they are used properly. Research indicates that only 30 to 60 percent of men who claim to use condoms for contraception actually use them for every act of intercourse. Further, even people who use condoms every time may not use them correctly. Incorrect use contributes to the possibility that the condom could leak from the base or break.
Myth #2: HIV can pass through condoms
A commonly held misperception is that latex condoms contain "holes" that allow passage of HIV. Although this may be true for natural membrane (Animal Membrane), condoms laboratory studies show that intact latex condoms provide a continuous barrier to microorganisms, including HIV, as well as sperm.
Myth #3: Condoms frequently break
Another area of concern expressed by some is about the quality of latex condoms. Condoms are classified as medical devices and are regulated by the FDA. Every latex condom manufactured in the United States is tested for defects before it is packaged. During the manufacturing process, condoms are double-dipped in latex and undergo stringent quality control procedures. Several studies clearly show that condom breakage rates in this country are less than 2 percent. Most of the breakage is due to incorrect usage rather than poor condom quality. Using oil-based lubricants can weaken latex, causing the condom to break. In addition, condoms can be weakened by exposure to heat or sunlight or by age, or they can be torn by teeth or fingernails when opening.