Why using condoms is important

October 31, 2020 3 min read

Why using condoms is important

Why is using condoms important? It’s a question that’s often asked, but outside of sex education at school, it’s not often talked about. Attitudes towards condom usage tend to fluctuate. For example, 2017 research from the UK government found that 47% of sexually active young people said they have had sex with someone new for the first time without using a condom. However, at the end of lockdown in summer 2020, global condom sales increased by more than 10%.

We take a look at why condom use should be on the agenda for many sexually active people. We explore some of the many benefits they bring, as well as dismiss some of the myths as to why people don’t like them.

Why is using condoms important?

There is a lot of evidence to back up the usefulness of using a condom. Despite this, many people take the approach that ‘it’ll be fine if we don’t use one.’ Often, this is based on the assumption that they won’t, or can’t, get pregnant. In reality, there is a lot more to think about:

Condoms and your sexual health

External condoms are around 98% effective at preventing most STIs. This includes things like gonorrhoea, chlamydia, and HIV. This efficacy rate applies for all kinds of sex, including oral and anal sex. If you’re concerned about your and your partner’s sexual health (and you should be) condoms, both external and internal, are the best choice.

No side effects

Allergies aside (we’ll cover those further down), most people can use condoms with no problems. There are no known side effects of using condoms apart from those who are sensitive to latex. So, you can rest assured that your sexual activity will be safe and free from side effects.

Added birth control protection

As well as protecting against STIs, condoms are also one of the most efficient forms of birth control (apart from abstinence). Again, when used correctly, they’re 98% effective at preventing pregnancy. This means that, over the course of a year, only 2 out of 100 people will become pregnant through penis-in-vagina sex when using a condom.


Condoms are an affordable way to practise safer sex. You can buy all kinds of condoms at prices that match just about any budget. This makes them an appealing proposition, particularly when you consider the costs of the alternatives!

Why do some people not like them?

So, clearly using condoms is the smart choice (unless you’re trying for a baby). However, some people still have an unwarranted dislike for them. There are some myths about condom use that often get cited for a reason not to use them, including:

The sensation

This is often the main excuse people try and use. They say that they’re too tight/loose, don’t ‘feel the same’ or reduce sensation. Clearly, these people haven’t found the right condom for them. With the range of choices available today, you can find large, narrow, ultra-thin, and many other variations. All you need to do is find the one that works for you, and you can have safer and more enjoyable sex.

The awkwardness

Some people claim that the break in proceedings to put on a condom ruins the mood. These people need to work on their foreplay skills. Condoms can be an integral and sensual part of your sexual experience. Why not try having your partner put the condom on with their mouth? Or choose a type that heightens sensation for you both. There are plenty of options; you just have to get creative.


In fairness, some people are allergic or sensitive to latex, which can be tricky. However, there are plenty of latex-free options out there. Materials such as polyurethane and polyisoprene are just as robust as latex, for example. There are even vegan condoms available, giving you an extra level of choice.

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