Spermicidal Lubed Condoms: Misconceptions and Reality
A common thought was that a condom with a spermicidal lubrication was actually better than a regular condom. A little more than 2 decades ago, experts lauded the spermicide named Nonoxynol9 (N9) which is used in birth control such as the Today Sponge as an effective way of preventing STDs and pregnancy. Due to the false stats, they later decided to add spermicidal lubrication to condoms. Therefore, whether heterosexual, bisexual, or homosexual couples had vaginal sex or anal sex, experts determined that condoms with spermicide actually created physical damage and also increased risks of infections and HIV. Earlier this century, they stated anal sex with these types of condoms or any form of spermicide wasn't recommended. In addition, they explained that more than 1 usage a day of spermicides (including the spermicidal condom) could create vaginal infections or allergic reactions. A few condom makers and health clinics pulled all condoms with the N9 lubrication. Even KY Jelly's parent company removed personal lubrication that contained Nonoxynol9. About a decade ago, medical experts stated that since birth control can fail, you're better off using 2 forms of birth control. Their thinking was that if the condom broke or was misused, a spermicide or a hormonal form of birth control would be able to be a backup method. People claim they've used 2 forms and it still resulted in a pregnancy. Therefore, whether these pregnancies are accurate or not, experts say the only safest way to not get pregnant is to abstain from sexual acts. People buy a spermicidal lubricated condom thinking they don't need a second form because the spermicidal lubrication is their 2nd form of birth control. Let's look at how flawed this logic is. The amount of N9 is a concentrated amount compared to what other spermicidal products can produce. A broken condom can allow semen to flow and the lubrication itself may actually do nothing. Also, damaged (flaky or caked on) N9 lubrication and expired or misplaced (in pocket, heat, or very cold) could make the condom more prone to breaking. However, responsible people having sex would likely discard such condoms. Unfortunately, researchers have failed to look at the logic I'm using. In addition, they fail to generate statistics that break down condom breakage or failure by type or style of condom used. Fortunately, condom makers and health experts are disclosing that a spermicidal lubricated condom is only 1 form of birth control and it's recommended to use a second form of birth control. In addition, they are saying not to discard such condoms because research can't prove they're more or less effective than a normal (lubricated or nonlubricated) condom. Yet, they are recommending you minimize usage to prevent infections. Finally, I'll make my recomendations. Save money and buy regular condoms and strongly consider getting on birth control. Understand the experts' reasoning and don't think you're having double protection. If you're going to use spermicidal lubed condoms, use them for vaginal sex only. Minimize usage and watch for infections. Get regular STD screenings and use PlanB or the known Emergency Contraception in your area within 72 hours after having unprotected sex (including condom failure). To the FDA and the condom makers who still make these condoms, spend some money. Research the failure rates of standard condoms (lubricated or nonlubricated) versus the N9 lubricated condoms. Determine the benefits of using N9 lubricated condom compared to using a regular condom. Also, look at the drawbacks. Lastly, consider eliminating these condoms or further educating people on the issues that these condoms present.