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Ten Things You Need to Know Before You Use a Condom

26/04/2015 18:25 BST | Updated 26/06/2015 10:59 BST

1. Although men frequently complain about decreased sensitivity with condoms, a 2013 study found no difference in satisfaction ratings between men who wore condoms and those who didn't. The study, which was published in the Journal of Sexual Medicine, also found no significant differences in men's ability to have erections with, or without, condoms.

2. This may reflect the fact that modern condoms are now so much more advanced than the traditional latex versions. Brands such as Skyn Intense or Trojan Supra Ultra are made from microsheer, a medical grade polyurethane which is thinner and stronger than latex. Unlike latex, microsheer is hypoallergenic. It has no taste and smell and it transmits body heat very effectively which makes it feel much more natural.

3. The Japanese brand Sagami's Original 001 claims to be the world's thinnest condoms. The thickness of the rubber in the ultra-light polyurethane contraceptive has been measured at 0.01 millimeters. The average width of a human hair is 0.06 millimeters.

4. In 2013, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation awarded $100,000 (£60,000) to scientists at the University of Manchester's National Graphene Institute to design a graphene condom that, at one atom thick, would be barely visible to the human eye.

5. Epidemiological studies that compare rates of HIV infection between condom users, and non-users who have HIV-infected sex partners, demonstrate that consistent condom use is highly effective in preventing transmission of HIV. Other studies have shown that condom use reduces the risk of many other STIs.

6. Correct application is important though. You can work out which way a condom is rolled by pinching the ring between your thumb and fingers and trying and roll it in one direction. If it resists, you need to roll it the other way. Once you know which direction it should go in, place it on top of the penis, pinch the reservoir to eliminate potential air pockets and the condom should then roll easily down the length of the erect shaft. In terms of hydraulics, it is best to apply a condom when you are kneeling and leaning slightly forward because this position maintains optimal blood flow to your erection. After ejaculation and before the penis gets soft, grip the rim of the condom and carefully withdraw. Then, holding the rim, gently pull the condom off the penis, making sure that semen doesn't spill out.

7. You shouldn't use oil based lubricants (e.g., petroleum jelly, oils or body lotions) with latex condoms, because oil erodes latex.

8. According to the 2010 National Survey of Sexual Health and Behavior, young teenagers are far more responsible than older adults about using condoms; 80 percent of those aged 14 to 17 had used a condom the last time they had sex.

9. The same study found that only 25 percent of people over 50 who were single and sexually active had used a condom the last time they had sex,

10. Which probably explains why sexually transmitted diseases among older adults have more than doubled in the past 10 years.