While most of us know that the condom is the only real form of contraceptive to protect against most STIs AND pregnancy, it seems they haven’t been getting the recognition they deserve, with people either turning to other options or shunning safe sex practices altogether.
But it seems the tide might be turning back towards the humble rubber. And when we heard about the STI superbug that is taking over, we’re frankly not surprised.
These days the options for contraception are greater than ever before, whether that’s a good thing though, reminds to be seen. Women have the choices from the pill (in emergencies the morning after pill), implants and IUDs, even sterilisation and apps in the hopes of avoiding falling pregnant.
But with more and more issues arising from these forms of contraception; think dangerous side-effects from implants, countless studies linking the contraceptive pill to issues including depression, blood clots and decreased sex drive, to the inaccuracy of apps leading to unwanted pregnancies to generally just feeling fed-up with pumping our bodies full of drugs and excess hormones, it seems condoms are looking more appealing than ever.
And did we mention those STIs (that none of those forms of contraception protect against)...
A 2016 report from the American Center For Disease Control found a spike in STIs among young people (chlamydia, up 6%, gonorrhea, up 13% ad syphilis, up 19%) and 20 million new STIs occurring every year.
“We are definitely seeing young people who don’t practice safe sex,” Dr. Hansa Bhargava, a WebMD medical editor and pediatrician based in Atlanta told The New York Post. “In a casual relationship, if a person feels like they ‘know’ the other person, they are less likely to practice protected sex,” she added, citing the rise of the “friends with benefits” phenomenon.
However with the rates of STIs on the rise - and new ones emerging ALL the time - and the technology being used to make condoms better than ever before, it seems the condom really is the no-brainer. Did we mention they have a 98% effectiveness rating?
A 2017 report found that condom use was back on the rise, up 29.5 per cent from a previous 2002 study.
Not to mention condoms also put the responsibility - of both pregnancy and STIs – on both parties, rather than the woman having it all on her shoulders. Winning.