Correct and consistent use of male condoms is known to offer up to 98% protection against STDs and unplanned pregnancies. The protection is offered by primarily preventing exchange of body fluids like semen and vaginal secretions during intercourse. It is also important to note that failure of the condom to work is usually as a result of incorrect or inconsistent use and not its failure
However, some STIs spread through semen, vaginal secretions and skin-to-skin contacts. On these instances, the use of condom may not offer protection.
Below are some of STDs that may be spread even when a condom is used correctly and consistently.
This is a bacterial infection that mainly spread through intimate contact. It causes sores mostly on genitals, mouth or rectum. At very early stages, the sores are painless. Contact with these sores can lead to infection Using male condom will only protect against syphilis if the sore is covered. However if the sores are located on a body region that is exposed, then chances are high that you will be transmission of the disease. Syphilis can remain inactive in the body for years before becoming active again. The disease can easily be treated by early medical intervention. Delayed treatment is life threatening and can lead to damage of major body organs like the brain and heart.
It is caused by herpes simplex virus (HSV-1 or HSV-2). The virus causes herpes sores, itching and very painful blisters. Sores may develop on the buttocks, thighs, mouth, urethra, anus, vaginal area, cervix, scrotum and penis.
Presence of herpes lesion on the pelvis or groin region which cannot be covered by the condom will definitely lead to a transmission. The transmission can occur even when the outbreak is not visible. Medical experts advise that partners should abstain from intimate sessions when there is an active outbreak to minimize the chances of transmission.
Human papillomavirus (HPV) is considered as the most common STD in the world. According to WHO, HPV is the primary risk factor among women in development of cervical cancer. Some strains of HPV result to genital warts. Although condoms reduce the chances of contracting HPV, presence of warts reduces its efficiency. In addition, there is no evidence of its ability to prevent some strains of HPV.
4. Pubic Lice or crabs
The pubic lice, is transmitted through intimate contact with a person having them. It is usually found in coarse hair in the pubic area, where they lay eggs and live. The good news is that the crabs are no longer common because people groom more often.
In conclusion, safe intimate healthy practices should be observed at all times by all persons. They include being monogamous and partners being mutually faithful to each other, abstinence, regularly testing for all STI, being cautious about intimate practices like kissing, fisting and fingering (vaginal or anal).