Many people feel uncomfortable discussing “intimacy” so as a result of avoiding that conversation, the conversation about protection is often by-passed. The truth is that it is not only important to discuss protection, it is also important to take the step of using it every time, especially if you are not in a committed monogamous relationship.
Many people end up with unwanted pregnancies and s*xually transmitted diseases because the did not have the important conversation, with their partner, about birth control or they did and they did not follow through with the extra step of making it available or using it.
What: Drugstores now offer as many options and flavors as a Baskin-Robbins. We all scream for Tropical Premiums!
Failure rate*: 2–18%
Who: Single women who are as concerned about getting s*xually transmitted diseases as about getting pregnant; women who are looking for no-commitment birth control.
- Latex rubber condoms are the best line of defense (besides abstinence) against STDs for which there is no known cure, like herpes, HPV and HIV.
- They allow for spontaneity, they’re discreet, and they’re relatively cheap. Value packs cost just $25 for 36 condoms—three of those would be more than enough to accommodate the average woman’s yearly s*xual activity.
- They absolutely require a man’s cooperation. But the new generation may be more receptive: The CDC just reported that use of condoms by male teens is on the rise.
- An allergic reaction to latex can cause severe reactions, so women with this issue should look for polyurethane plastic. However, latex allergies only affect about six in 100 women (interestingly, they may also have a sensitivity toward bananas, avocados and kiwi fruit, which share similar proteins). More often, it’s the spermicide that’s causing vaginal irritation, says Daniela Carusi, MD, the director of general gynecology at Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston. As an alternative for the irritation-prone, Carusi suggests spermicide-free condoms with a water-based lubricant like K-Y Brand Jelly.