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This blog post was originally published by Planned Parenthood of Metropolitan Washington, DC Action Fund. We are now Planned Parenthood Advocates for DC, Maryland & NoVa.

Happy National #CondomWeek! As the nation’s largest provider of sex education, we’re celebrating this week and the #Fight4BirthControl by bringing you accurate information and resources for safer sex! So welcome to the best kind of sexy talk—sex ed talk. 😜

Everyone deserves to have a safe, healthy sex life that’s also pleasurable and fun! Sex shouldn’t be stressful, which is why using condoms can give you peace of mind by protecting you from STDs and unintended pregnancy!

Quick condom facts:

  1. Condoms are the only type of birth control that also helps protect against STDs! 😮

  2. Condoms are one-time use only! 🚮 Make sure to use a new one each time you have sex.

  3. Oil-based lubricants are more likely to weaken and break condoms. Use a water- or silicon-based lubricant instead!

  4. Pairing condoms with other birth control methods like an IUD, implant, depo shot, or birth control pill is the best way to prevent unintended pregnancy and STDs. 🎉

  5. Before using a condom always check the expiration date. Yes, condoms can expire!

  6. When it comes to HIV, using a condom makes sex 10,000 times safer than not using a condom!

There are so many kinds of condoms to choose from (latex, non-latex, internal, external, flavored, colored, ribbed, different sizes, etc.). You can get condoms at a convenience store, drug store, local health clinic, or a Planned Parenthood health center. They are inexpensive and sometimes FREE! 👍

Using condoms correctly and consistently provides the best protection against STDs (which are on the rise in the U.S).

Quick STD facts:

  1. Every year, there are approximately 20 million new sexually transmitted diseases in the U.S., half among people ages 15-24! 🙀

  2. The CDC has announced that for the third year in a row cases of chlamydia, gonorrhea, and syphilis all increased to more than two million! 👀

  3. Some sexually transmitted diseases, if left untreated, can lead to serious health issues: infertility, cervical cancer, or even death.

  4. Many people who have an STD don’t know it, since most people with an STD have no symptoms.

It’s important to talk with your partner(s) about using condoms before you have sex. Be direct and emphasize that condoms are essential to protect one another’s health — and that using them can even make your sex life better. 😏

Final tips:

  1. Contrary to popular myth, condoms don’t ruin the mood — people who use condoms rate their sexual experiences just as pleasurable as people who don’t. 💏

  2. If your partner doesn’t want to use condoms, ask why — that way you can address their concerns and help them feel good about it!  

  3. Remember, talking about consent is also an important part of talking about safer sex!

Basically, we want you to go out and enjoy National #CondomWeek, but first...

...because there’s no better sex than safe, consensual, enthusiastic sex!

Before you go….

This past year, we’ve witnessed unprecedented political attacks on birth control access, and we expect 2018 to be no different. Please join us in the #Fight4BirthControl. We’ve said it before and we’ll say it again: birth control is basic health care and politicians do not have the right to block our access to contraceptive methods.

At Planned Parenthood, we are here for you. Want to learn more? Check out our health center’s website where we provide accurate, non judgemental information about sexual and reproductive health.

Tags: #CondomWeek, #Fight4BirthControl, #SexEd

Julia Resnik, Story Telling Intern

Julia Resnik hails from Philadelphia, PA. While attending school in Washington, DC, she worked with Planned Parenthood of Metropolitan Washington, DC & our Action Fund as a Political Communications Intern during the 2017 gubernatorial election cycle & as a Story Telling Intern the following semester.