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This week is National Condom Week, and we’re excited to celebrate the impact that condoms have had on shaping sexual and reproductive health care. Condoms, both internal and external, give individuals autonomy and empowerment in their sexual and reproductive health. 

Learning about barrier methods like external and internal condoms is an important first step in taking control of your sexual health. The more you know about and feel comfortable talking about the topic, the easier it will be to have conversations with current and potential partners about why using condoms feels like a good choice for you. 

There are two primary reasons that sexual and reproductive health care professionals recommend using condoms regularly: To reduce the chance of unintended pregnancy and to prevent transmission of sexually transmitted infections. These are huge considerations when thinking about what types of contraception you want to utilize with partners. 

Though there are several different methods of contraception and STI prevention, internal and external condoms are the only methods that provide comprehensive protection for both unintended pregnancy and STI transmission. When used alongside other forms of birth control and preventative care, external and internal condoms can be an important part of your sexual and reproductive health routines. 

Talking about whether or not to utilize condoms in your routines allows you to take control of your sexual health. It also demonstrates to your partner(s) that you’re serious about their health and well-being, too. Condoms can make sex safer and more enjoyable for all parties, and having open and honest conversations with a partner shows you care about your own needs and their needs, as well. 

It’s important to remember that even if you’re utilizing condoms regularly in your routines, it is still necessary to regularly screen for STIs. Condoms provide a great amount of protection and safety, but are just one part of a full scope of sexual and reproductive health and wellness. Planned Parenthood Great Plains is here for you and your partner(s), and happy to answer any questions you may have or provide you with resources to make the best decisions about your health.

Using condoms can be an active form of self-care, community-care, and health care. You have the right to make important decisions about your sexual health, including if and when you require a condom during sex. When you have open and honest conversations about your needs, you empower yourself and others to pursue healthy and enjoyable experiences with partners.

Tags: #CondomWeek, condom