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It's National Condom Week. Keep it safe!

It's National Condom Week. Keep it safe!

Feb. 17, 2021

By Matt Cimino

When love is in the air and romance is at its peak, what better time to make sure we are practicing safe sex?

That special chocolate and heart-filled day kicks off National Condom Week, which began on Sunday, Valentine’s Day, and runs until Feb. 21.

It is fitting that National Condom Week begins on Valentine’s Day, as the conversation on safe sex goes hand in hand with the most romantic day of the year.

One of the most important aspects of safe sex is the use of condoms. They are a great way to reduce the risks associated with unprotected sex, but must be used correctly in order to maximize their effectiveness.

For an in-depth breakdown of proper condom use, visit this link for males and this link for females.

Here are some do’s and don’ts for a male condom:

  • DO use a condom every time you have sex.cdc
  • DO put on a condom before having sex.
  • DO read the package and check the expiration date.
  • DO make sure there are no tears or defects.
  • DO store condoms in a cool, dry place.
  • DO use latex or polyurethane condoms.
  • DO use water-based or silicone-based lubricant to prevent breakage.
  • DON’T store condoms in your wallet as heat and friction can damage them.
  • DON’T use nonoxynol-9 (a spermicide), as this can cause irritation.
  • DON’T use oil-based products like baby oil, lotion, petroleum jelly or cooking oil because they will cause the condom to break.
  • DON’T use more than one condom at a time.
  • DON’T reuse a condom.


Here are some do's and don'ts for a female condom:

  • DO use a female condom from start to finish, every time you have vaginal sex.*
  • DO read the condom package insert and check the expiration date.
  • DO make sure there are no tears or defects.
  • DO use lubricant to help prevent the condom from slipping and tearing.
  • DO store female condoms in a cool, dry place.
  • DON’T use a male condom with a female condom, as this can cause tearing.
  • DON’T reuse a female condom.
  • DON’T flush female condoms as they may clog the toilet.


When they are applied the right way, condoms are very good at reducing the risk of STD transmission. Yes, you should use a new one with every sexual act, but it is just as important that you do so the right way to protect yourself and others.

The most effective ways to avoid being exposed to STDs are always to abstain from sex or be in a long-term, mutually monogamous relationship. But when you take that extra step to elevate intimacy with your partner, know that there is always a level of risk. Wear a new condom each time and make sure you put it on right.

Condoms can reduce the likelihood of unintended pregnancy, but they continue to show that they are really best at preventing the spread of STDs. Consistent and correct use can prevent:

HIV 
Gonorrhea
Chlamydia
Trichomoniasis
HPV and related diseases, including cervical cancer

And when in doubt, individuals can take advantage of Monongalia County Health Department Clinical Services’ free STD testing and treatment.

Condoms work by creating an impermeable barrier between you and microscopic pathogens. Like building a wall to keep you protected. At the end of each sexual act, be sure to carefully remove and dispose of used condoms in order to minimize possible exposure.

This year and every year show your partner that you really care for them by being safe and responsible.

Free condoms are available at MCHD Clinical Services with a free or low-cost appointment. Call 304-598-5119 for an appointment.

Matt Cimino is a public information office intern at Monongalia County Health Department.

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