Did the CDC Really Just Have to Remind People Not to Wash and Reuse Condoms?
There are certain things you just know you’re supposed to toss in the trash after one use. A tissue you sneezed in, a napkin you spit food in, and a condom, well, you get the idea.
But apparently, not everyone is squared away on this throw-away guideline when it comes to condoms. Believe it or not, some people think it’s okay to wash them out and reuse them, according to the Centers for Disease Control—which sent out a tweet last week reminding people that this is actually a very bad idea.
“We say it because people do it: Don’t wash or reuse #condoms! Use a fresh one for each #sex act,” the CDC STD account tweeted on July 23.
Twitter users reacted with everything from disgust to disbelief.
“Hold on babe, let me just grab one off the clothes line…,” one person wrote.
“Well, what the hell am I supposed to do with all these condoms in the dishwasher now?” another chimed in.
Of course, the memes really said it all.
The CDC tweet linked to a page on their website that covers condom effectiveness. The page emphasizes the importance of using condoms to reduce the risk of sexually transmitted diseases and to help prevent pregnancy.
It also includes links to information on how to use male and female condoms correctly, which clear up any questions about washing and reusing either kind. The answer, of course, is that it’s never correct to do either. One reason? A used rubber is more likely to break during sex, which defeats the whole purpose.
Here’s a quick refresher course on smart male condom usage: Make a habit of checking the expiration date on the package, and never use an expired condom. You should also make sure the condom was stored in a cool environment and away from any sharp objects.
Another key practice is to push the condom to the opposite side of the wrapper before opening it. This will keep the rubber from tearing. Take the condom out and pinch the tip closed to prevent air from getting trapped inside, which can also cause the rubber to rip during sex. Roll it down all the way. Once you’re finished, roll it back up carefully (have your partner hold it tight so nothing spills out in the process), then trash it.
Follow these guidelines to stay safe, and treat all condoms with a strict one-time use policy. No exceptions.
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