New York, NY—Throughout National Condom Week (February 14-21), Planned Parenthood is encouraging people to make their sex life safe, healthy, and pleasurable by talking with their partners about using condoms consistently to help protect against sexually transmitted infections (STIs) and unintended pregnancy. Getting comfortable talking about safer sex and using condoms is one of the best ways people can take care of their health—and their partner’s.
“Everyone deserves a sex life that is safe, healthy, and pleasurable,” said Dr. Leslie Kantor, vice president of education at Planned Parenthood Federation of America. “It’s important to let your partner know that you want to use condoms every time you have sex, so that you don’t have to worry about the possibility of sexually transmitted infections.
“Communication is key. Be direct about your feelings, and emphasize that condoms are a great way to stay healthy—and that using them can even enhance your sex life. People who use condoms rate their sexual experiences as just as pleasurable as people who don’t.”
Condoms are a good way to feel more relaxed about your sex life. Many people say they find sex more enjoyable when they use condoms because they aren’t worrying about STIs or unintended pregnancy. To help have this conversation with a partner, you can:
- Talk before you have sex. Practice what you’re going to say beforehand, then, choose the right time to talk — before things get hot and heavy.
- Know that it is never too late to start using condoms. Even if you didn’t use a condom the first time, you can get on track at any time and still help prevent problems. Preventing re-exposure to sexually transmitted infections can keep you from getting one.
- Be direct about what you want and why. Condoms are very effective at preventing pregnancy; they’re also the only type of birth control that also helps protect against STIs. Stress that sex without protection is not an option because you and your partner’s health and safety matter.
- Talk about how using condoms can enhance your sex life. Condoms can help you relax and enjoy yourself. People who use condoms rate their sexual experiences as just as pleasurable as people who don’t.
- Make a plan. Decide who will buy condoms and make a plan to use them every time. There are many condom varieties to choose from (non-latex, FC2 internal condoms, flavored, colored, ribbed) to meet your (and your partner’s) needs.
Using condoms correctly and consistently provides the best protection against sexually transmitted infections. Rates of sexually transmitted infections remain a major problem in this country. Every year, there are approximately 20 million new STIs in the U.S., half in young people ages 15-24. Many people who have an STI don’t know it, since many STIs cause no noticeable symptoms.
“Planned Parenthood is here for you with education, resources, and guidance on how to use condoms correctly and how to talk about condom use with your partner,” Kantor added. “As the nation’s largest provider of sex education, Planned Parenthood works every day to reduce the number of STIs and unintended pregnancies and keep people healthy.”
Planned Parenthood affiliates provide education and outreach to 1.5 million people of all ages, and Planned Parenthood websites in English and Spanish provide accurate, nonjudgmental information about sexual and reproductive health to 60 million visitors each year. Planned Parenthood’s digital tools for teens and young adults help people make responsible decisions, including games likeIt Takes 2 andBeen There/Done That, and our Chat/Text program, which allows young people to live-chat with a trained health educator in real time from a cell phone or computer.
Planned Parenthood is the nation’s leading provider and advocate of high-quality, affordable health care for women, men, and young people, as well as the nation’s largest provider of sex education. With over 650 health centers across the country, Planned Parenthood organizations serve all patients with care and compassion, with respect and without judgment. Through health centers, programs in schools and communities, and online resources, Planned Parenthood is a trusted source of reliable health information that allows people to make informed health decisions. We do all this because we care passionately about helping people lead healthier lives.
Planned Parenthood Federation of America media office: 212-261-4433
February 17, 2016