February 14-21 is National Condom Week, and Planned Parenthood Hudson Peconic (PPHP) is encouraging people to talk 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 to take care of your health and your partner’s.
“Everyone deserves a sex life that is safe and healthy as well as pleasurable,” said Dr. Vanita Kumar, Medical Director, PPHP. “Let your partner know that you want to use condoms every time you have sex—so that you can both stay healthy.”
Rates of sexually transmitted infections remain a major problem in this country—the U.S. has the highest rate of STIs of any nation in the industrialized world. Every year, there are approximately 20 million new cases of STIs in the U.S., half in young people ages 15-24. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recently announced that cases of Chlamydia, gonorrhea, and syphilis all increased in 2014.
“Latex condoms, as well as internal condoms, are effective at preventing pregnancy; they’re also the only type of birth control that also helps protect against STIs,” said Dr. Kumar. “There are so many condom varieties to choose from—you and your partner can find one that will fit your needs.”
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 are not worrying about STIs or unintended pregnancy. And contrary to popular myth, condoms don’t make sex less fun—people who use condoms rate their sexual experiences as just as pleasurable as people who don’t.
Even if you are using another method of birth control, you may be at risk of getting an STI. Using condoms plus another effective method of birth control—like the IUD, implant, or pill—is the best way to prevent both pregnancy and STIs.
PPHP is here to help make conversations about using condoms easier. They have resources and information on how to talk about condom use with your partner and how to use condoms correctly. For more information or to find a PPHP health center near you, visit www.pphp.org or call (800) 230-PLAN.
February 17, 2016