When are we going to wake up?
We've got the highest teen pregnancy rate in the world.

2:40 1:57 55

Talk with your kids about condoms

Teach Your Kids - Girls and Boys - About Teen Pregnancy

The History Of The Condom
23 Reasons Not to Use Condoms
A reason to Use Condoms (May be too graphic for some.)
CBS and FOX rejected this Trojan Condoms ad
Condoms Make Sense
Contraceptive Effectiveness
The Condom Promised Land
A Responsible Conversation about Sexual History
What to Do When Your Birth Control Fails
Talking about Condoms
Condom fatigue
An Ounce of Prevention
How to Use a Condom
Where the Rubber Meets the Road
The Love Glove Quiz
Should There Be Condom Ads on TV?
Having Fun with Condoms
What's New in Birth Control: An Easy-to-Follow Guide About New Choices Birth Control Methods

Post-‘Roe,’ People Are Seeking Permanent Sterilizations, and Some Are Being Turned Away -- 7/25/22
Rate of young women getting sterilized doubled after ‘Roe’ was overturned - 6/27/24


Other Contraception Forms - Continuous Abstinence, Outercourse, Sterilization, Norplant, Depo-Provera, Intrauterine Device (IUD), The Pill, The Condom, Withdrawal, Diaphragm or Cervical Cap, Female Condom or Spermicide, Periodic Abstinence or Fertility Awareness Methods (FAMs), Emergency Contraception, RU-486
Related issues:
Reproductive Health, Emergency Contraception, Talking With Kids About Tough Issues, AIDS, Bacterial Vaginosis, Blue Balls, Chancroid, Chlamydia, Condoms, Contraception, Crabs, Genital Herpes, Genital Warts, Gonorrhea, Hepatitis A, B, C, D, E, Impotency, Nongonococcal Urethritis, Pelvic Inflammatory Disease, Reproduction, Sources, STDS, Safer Sex, Syphilis, Trichomoniasis, Yeast Infection
Merchandise - Single card - $1.00 includes shipping, Positive Parenting Pack (all 34 cards) - $13.00 plus shipping

Talk with your kids about condoms

The latex condom is the only form of birth control that provides protection against both pregnancy and most sexually transmitted diseases. While not infallible, using a prophylactic correctly is much safer than not using one. The optimal safety strategy, if abstinence is not chosen, calls for the male to wear a condom, while his female partner uses any of the three hormonal methods: the pill, Depo-Provera or Norplant.

One of the most heartening changes in young people’s sexual habits is that boys have begun to share responsibility for birth control. When Brookings 8th graders were ask if they or their partner used a condom the last time they had sexual intercourse, 38% replied yes. Of 11th graders the number went up to 64%.

Even so, too many boys try to squirm their way out of donning a prophylactic before sexual activity. “It ruins the spontaneity.” “It dulls the sensation.” (See 23 more at

Girls, too, may have an aversion to condoms, though the reasons typically have less to do with physical pleasure than with the stigma often associated with this much-maligned form of contraception.

Some young women, for example, say that using rubbers makes them feel “cheap,” when in fact they should congratulate themselves for being sexually responsible. Others worry that to keep a few condoms in their purse or backpack, just in case, might be misconstrued as a sign that they’re easily coaxed into bed or that seduction was on their agenda all along. It’s been found that adolescents who carry condoms are nearly three times more likely to use them for protection during intercourse.

When discussing birth control with teenagers, the message is the same for sons as it is for daughters: to have intercourse without a prophylactic, even once, could potentially derail their future and possibly even cost them their lives. They need to inform any and all sexual partners that no condom means no sex—no excuses, no exceptions.

Teenagers still believe they can ‘tell’ who has HIV and who doesn’t. The line from boys and girls is, "I can look in a person’s eyes and know.” The fact is, we can’t confirm anyone’s monogamy but our own. We trust our romantic partner to be both true and truthful, but a study that surveyed about two hundred HIV-positive patients at a pair of New England hospitals revealed that four in ten of the infected men and women admitted they’d never informed their partners of their condition. Furthermore, nearly two-thirds of them did not always wear a condom.

Arming our sons and daughters with information can help them face down the pressure to have sex without condoms—or to have sex at all.

23 Reasons Not to Use Condoms

The following lists 23 reason given for not wanting to use a condom, and possible responses.

Reason: I don't use condoms.
Answer: OK. Then let's think of ways we can satisfy each other without intercourse.
Or: I never make love without a condom. No glove, no love.

Reason:  I forgot it.
Answer: Forget it.

Reason: I don't have a condom with me.
Answer: The drug store up the street is open all night. Let's go buy some.
Or: I have one.
Or: Let's wait until we're prepared

Reason: It's embarrassing to buy them.
Answer: Let's buy a big box. That way we won't have to buy them for some time.

Reason: Condoms are too expensive.
Answer: Let's share the cost.
Or: Let's skip the movie Saturday and we can buy several dozen.
Or: I'll pay for them. The peace of mind is worth it.
Or: Let's stop by the family planning clinic. Condoms are free there.

Reason: I'm allergic to them
Answer: Let's try another brand or a different lubricant or Spermicide.
Or: I'm allergic to sperm. It could make me 'break out' in STDs and sometimes even pregnancy.

Reason:  They look ugly.
 Come here, big boy. I love the way you look in that color.
Or: I think you look incredibly sexy. Seeing you in a condom really turns me on.

Reason: But we've been having sex without condoms.
Answer: I know we could enjoy each other more if I didn't have to worry.
Or: That doesn't mean it's not a good idea from now on.

Reason: Condoms taste terrible.
Answer: Let's try some of those new flavored condoms.

Reason: They're too dry. They make sex uncomfortable.
Answer: Let's try lubricated condoms. If they still feel dry, we can use some K-Y Jelly or Astro Glide.

Reason: I'm a virgin.
Answer: I'm not. This way we'll both be protected.

Reason:  I'm on the pill. Trust me.
Answer: I do trust you; it's the pill I'm worried about. Let's play it safe.
Or: The pill works great for preventing pregnancy, but condoms can protect us from infections we might not even know we have.

Reason: It's embarrassing to buy condoms and carry them.
Answer: If we're too embarrassed to deal with condoms, then we're probably not ready for sex.
Or: Carrying condoms is less embarrassing that carrying a baby if we aren't ready to be parents.

Reason: I wouldn't give you a disease.
Answer: I know you wouldn't intentionally, but either of us could have an infection and not know it. Why take chances?

Reason: Sex isn't as good. I can't feel much with a condom on. It's like wearing a raincoat in the shower. They're fake, unnatural, a total turnoff.
Answer: There's plenty of feeling left, and I wouldn't feel safe without it.
Or: You're right. Condoms do reduce the sensitivity for both of us a little, but that's not all bad. It gives us a chance to concentrate on other parts of our bodies.
Or: Please let's try to work this out - an infection doesn't feel so great either. If we use a condom we'll both relax and that will make our lovemaking better. (It may help you last longer, too.)
Or: Honey, you won't feel anything unless we use a condom.

Reason: Condoms don't work that well. I can still get pregnant.
Answer: No birth control method is 100% affective. Let's use some foam with nonoxynol-9 too. Foam and condoms together are about 99% safe.
Or: Condoms are a very good method as long as we don't forget to use one every time.

Reason: I'm sure it's safe at this time of the month.
Answer: There is no safe time when it comes to STDs.
Or: That's what my sister thought. Now I'm an uncle.
Or: Let's really be safe, not sorry.

Reason: Putting it on breaks the mood. It's not romantic. I'll lose my erection by the time I stop and put it on.
Answer: It doesn't have to break the mood. I'll help you put it on - that'll help you keep it.
Or: It's not romantic when I'm scared about getting pregnant or sick.

Reason: I'm afraid to ask him to use a condom. He'll think I don't trust him.
Answer: If you can't ask him, you probably don't trust him

Reason: Just this once.
Answer: Once is all it takes.

Reason: You carry a condom around with you? You were planning to seduce me!
Answer: I always carry one with me because I care about myself. I have one with me tonight because I care about us both.

Reason: It's up to's his decision.
Answer: It's your health. It should be your decision, too!

Reason: None of my other boyfriends use a condom. A Real Man isn't afraid.
Answer: Please don't compare me to them. A Real Man cares about his partner, himself and their relationship.

Reason 24: A big reason for wearing a condom:

Reason 25: Because you really want a child, you are financially prepared and able, and you're psychological prepared to raise a child not knowing really what it entails.

Source: Northern Sun Merchandising, Minneapolis, MN 55406. See or 800.258.8579

How about this? Is this a good enough
reason to Wear a Condom

The History Of The Condom

It's not known for sure where the name "condom" came from, but it may have been derived from a word of Latin origin: "condus," which means a vessel or a container. Perhaps it was naemd this because it was first aimed to hold the semen and bacteria/viruses of diseases that are sexually transmitted without letting them enter in the another partner’s body.

The first public demonstration of the condoms is recorded to be around 15th century. It was made and used first in Italy. The name of the person who used it first was Gabrielle. The purpose of making condom was to prevent infection of the disease, Syphilis. Although protection was already being used against diseases centuries earlier, Gabrielle was trying to bring it more to people's attention.

Gabrielle used linen as the basic substance in making a condom. As it was a public demonstration; he conducted experiment with a group of over thousand people to prove that the thing that he made was very useful against Syphilis.

A thread of condom history also comes from Rome, where the warriors wore the tubes on their penis which they obtained from the intestines of enemies they killed. Sometimes they wore the intestinal tubes of animals like sheep, goat etc. With the reference from history, by 1700, condom was realized for its use. Many shops were raised to sell condoms.

Records indicate that as early as 1000 BCE, the ancient Egyptians used a linen sheath, tied at the base with ribbon, for protection against disease, while the Chinese are known to have used oiled silk paper. These materials were used for centuries.

The oldest condoms ever found date back to 1640 and were excavated near Birmingham, England. They were made of fish and animal intestine.

In 16th century Italy, Gabrielle Fallopius authored the first-known published description of prophylactic condom use. Fallopius conducted trials among 1,100 men using a sheath made of linen; none of the men became infected with syphilis. During this period, protection was also improved by soaking the cloth sheaths in a chemical solution and allowing them to dry prior to use — the first use of a spermicide on condoms.The condom’s usefulness in preventing pregnancy was recognized in the 1700s.

Condoms made out of animal intestines became widely available in Europe, but were costly and often reused. In 19th century Japan, the Japanese had condoms made from two other materials: one made of thin leather and the other of thin tortoise shells or horns.

The mass-production of “rubbers” began after 1844 and the invention of vulcanization, a process that turns crude rubber into a strong elastic material.These were as thick as inner tubes, had a seam, and deteriorated rapidly. Latex manufacturing processes improved sufficiently in the 1930s to produce single-use condoms almost as thin and inexpensive as the ones used today.

The reservoir tip on the latex condom was introduced in the early 1950s, textured condoms in 1973. In 1994, Polyurethane emerged as an alternative to latex, leading to the development of both male condoms for latexsensitive people and the female condom.

Condoms Make Sense

These days everybody knows using condoms is a good idea because they make sex safer. Condoms help to protect both partners from pregnancy and sexually transmitted diseases, including AIDS. The only thing safer is abstinence. So, if you choose to have vaginal, anal, or oral sex, using a condom or dental damn is the first step to a healthy relationship.

Keep in mind, however, that condoms can fail. Condoms have a 16% annual failure rate [1]. After just four years you can bet on having an accidental pregnancy and after 20 years of using condoms, the chances are that a man will most likely experience not one, not two, but three accidental pregnancies!

1 - Facts in Brief, Contraceptive Use, Alan Guttmacher Institute, New York City, New York, (212) 248-1111.

The Condom Promised Land

Just a few years ago, American condom manufacturers were trying to sell condoms like parachutes: You wouldn't jump out of a plane without one, would you? (Trojan print ad, circa 1996) Only recently have condom manufacturers begun to realize a key fact that had been previously overlooked: Condoms are about sex and sex is supposed to feel good.

On the eve of the new millennium, the condom industry is finally experiencing a renaissance. After decades of stagnation and centuries of experimentation, technology, and design innovation finally have converged to produce some sensational (pun intended) condoms. New shapes, materials and designs are arousing interest across the world, and for good reason - several new condoms mean that safer sex really can be pleasurable sex.

The new arrivals are long overdue. For hundreds of years condoms were made from all sorts of stuff. The Chinese made condoms out of oiled silk paper, Europeans used fish bladders, and Egyptians used papyrus soaked in water. Through most of the 18th and 19th centuries, lamb intestines were the preferred condom material. Legend even has it that Casanova was a big fan of natural lambskins. While baby boomers may know condoms as "rubbers," it wasn't until 1843, when Goodyear vulcanized rubber, that the latex condom was born.

Throughout the technological revolution, Americans invented televisions, built computers and sent men to the moon, but the American condom industry stood still. That finally began to change about 10 years ago, prompted by the threat of serious competition from the Japanese. In the early '90s, a few sensuous Japanese ultra-thin condoms, like Kimono MicroThin and Crown arrived in America and turned the condom market on its head. These sexy imports were substantially thinner than their American counterparts, and thus far more popular with consumers who (shockingly) wanted sensation and sensitivity while having sex.

The U.S. condom market responded to the Japanese with condoms that promised safety and performance. In 1997, LifeStyles introduced the LifeStyles Xtra Pleasure featuring a domelike top to increase sensation. Trojan even caught on and introduced its "pleasure" condom, Ultra Pleasure in 1998. Only in the last year, however, has the true Condom Promised Land appeared to emerge. Three revolutionary new condoms are leading the way, and changing forever the condom industry.

The return of the long-missed Pleasure Plus has generated amazing excitement. The Pleasure Plus was originally introduced in 1993 by an ingenious Indian physician by the name of Dr. A.V.K. Reddy, whom the New York Times called the "Leonardo da Vinci" of condoms. After many years of study and analysis, Reddy designed the first condom that would emphasize sensation and pleasure, based on the neuro-anatomy of the penis. Simply put, Reddy created a condom that was looser-fitting in the exact area of the penis where most of the nerve endings are located. The loose fit at the tip of the condom allowed the nerve endings to remain at their most sensitive, while the friction caused by the extra moving latex produced additional sensation. The Pleasure Plus quickly became a big hit.

Unfortunately, due to some financial troubles, the Pleasure Plus disappeared in 1995. For years people awaited its return, and that much-hoped-for day has produced a tremendous response. A new company has obtained the original patents and has started to make this prophylactic gem once more. Condomania has already received thousands of orders for the Pleasure Plus.

Meanwhile, Reddy went back to the drawing board to design a condom that he believed would rival his original creation. After another four years of development, the inSpiral arrived this year to rave reviews. Like the Pleasure Plus, the inSpiral features a looser fit to enhance sensation -- this time in the form of bulging pouches that appear to twist their way to the top of the condom. Reddy believes that this new design adds an additional dynamic element that further enhances sensation, and the thousands of Condomania customers -- especially women -- who've already ordered the inSpirals definitely seem to agree.

Picking up where the Avanti left off, Trojan has joined the polyurethane game with its introduction of the Supra this month. Back in 1995, Durex introduced the world's first polyurethane condom for men, Avanti. Avanti went on to consistently rank among the world's most popular brands, especially for those who are allergic to latex. Polyurethane possesses some unique benefits: it is heat conductive (warming to body temperature), has no taste or odor, and, unlike latex, can be used safely with oil-based lubricants.

Like the Avanti, the new Supra boasts all the unique qualities and advantages of polyurethane. Unlike the Avanti, however, Supra is a bit softer and more comfortable. Most incredibly, Supra's Microsheer polyurethane is super clear -- the world's first invisible condom!

The Pleasure Plus, inSpiral and Supra condoms have generated increased excitement in an industry that needs it. Safer sex has never looked -- or felt -- better! Look for the condoms mentioned here at your local drugstore or contact Condomania at 1.800.9CONDOM.

Talking about Condoms

Knowing what's best for our health and doing something about it can be two different things. Even bringing up the subject can be hard. Here are some suggestions:

  • Think about what you want to say ahead of time. Sort out your own feelings about using condoms before you talk with your partner.
  • Choose a time to talk before that first intimate moment. Getting things straight before you make love means you'll both be prepared and relaxed.
  • Decide how you want to start the conversation. You might say, "I need to talk with you about something that's important to both of us," or "I've been hearing a lot lately about safer sex. Have you ever tried condoms?" or "I feel kind of embarrassed, but I can too much about you not to talk about this."
  • Remember, starting to talk is the hardest part. Don't be surprised if your partner responds with "I'm glad you brought it up. I was worried too," or "I like sharing the responsibility of sex. I appreciate someone who is willing to let me."

Once you've both agreed to use condoms, do something positive and fun. Go to the store together. Buy lots of different brands and colors. Plan a special day when you can experiment. Just talking about how you'll use all those condoms can be a turn-on.

An Ounce of Prevention

It might surprise you to learn that sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) are among the most common communicable diseases in the world. In fact, every year millions of Americans get STDs, which are passed from one person to another primarily, but not exclusively, through sexual contact. And as you probably already know, many of these diseases are not only incurable, but in the case of HIV/AIDS, fatal.

There are a number of contraceptive choices which may change throughout your life. To decide which method to use now, consider how well each one will work for you:

  • How well will it fit into your lifestyle?
  • How effective will it be?
  • How safe will it be?
  • How affordable will it be?
  • How reversible will it be?
  • Will it help prevent sexually transmitted infections?

Proper use of a latex condom every time you have sexual contact, not only helps prevent possibility of pregnancy, but is also one of the best possible methods apart from abstinence to help protect yourself from most known STDs.

It's true, one of the safest and most effective methods of helping to prevent pregnancy without abstaining from sexual intercourse, is also one of the safest and healthiest ways of helping to protect yourself from STDs. And using condoms properly is the purpose of this web site.

How to Use a Condom

Important: If used properly, latex condoms will help to reduce the risk of transmission of HIV infection (AIDS) and many other sexually transmitted diseases, including Chlamydia, genital herpes, genital warts, gonorrhea, hepatitis B and syphilis.

Before Sex:

Use a new condom every time you have sex - before foreplay, before penis gets anywhere near any body opening. (To avoid exposure to any body fluid that can carry infection.) Handle condom gently.

Put the condom on as soon as the penis is hard. Be sure rolled-up ring is on the outside. And leave space at the tip to hold semen when you come.

Squeeze tip gently so no air is trapped inside. Hold tip while you unroll the condom...all the way down to the hair.

If the condom doesn't unroll, it's on wrong. Throw it away. Start over with a new one.

After sex:

Pull out slowly right after you come, while the penis is still hard. Hold condom in place on the penis to avoid spilling semen. Turn and move completely away before you let go of the condom.

Dispose of used condom properly, NOT in the toilet. And no more sex without a new condom.

If a condom breaks and semen spills or leaks, don't panic. But quickly wash semen away with soap and water.

Tips for Success

  • Wash hands - as well as penis, vagina, and surrounding areas - before and after sex. This cuts the chance of infection.
  • Never let a condom touch oil in any form - no petroleum jelly, no baby oil, no mineral oil, no vegetable oil, not even talcum powder. Oil rots rubber.
  • If you want lubrication, use something water-based. (Like K-Y Jelly or Astro Glide.)
  • Keep unused condoms in their packs in a cool, dry place. (Not a wallet.)
  • If a new condom feels sticky or stiff or looks damaged in any way, throw it away - use a fresh one.

Warning: A very small number of users are sensitive or allergic to latex rubber, Spermicide or lubricants. If you or your partner have had any reaction to latex rubber, spermicide or lubricants, stop use and see your doctor.

Having Fun With Condoms

You don't like wearing condoms? You will now! Have fun, put a big smile on her face, while being safe at the same time!

Get her to laugh and have fun in the bedroom. Here are a few ways you can have fun with condoms. Who says wearing condoms isn't fun?!

Glow in The Dark Condoms

You're kidding, right?" Would we kid you?

Walk in a dark room glowing while she is laying in bed waiting for you. She'll see a floating penis heading her way! And if she tells you to get out, you can always use the light to find your clothes.

Be sure you wear a reputable condom underneath the glow in the dark condom. Or should we just go ahead and start calling you "daddy"?

Flavored Condoms

Mmmmm, yum! Give her the taste test. "Guess what flavor this is, honey!" It's a taste she'll want have hanging around in her mouth.

Colored Condoms

What's her favorite color again? While she's in the kitchen cooking, or wherever, walk in wearing a condom in her favorite color, and say, "Honey, I forgot your favoirte color. Could this possibly be it?"

Be sure she turns the stove off before she hops on you like a girl on a circus pony.

Ok, wanna start wearing condoms now? Check This Site Out: or 800.9 CONDOM (926-6366). She'll love you for it!


Laos Pulls Goldfish-In-A-Condom Ad As Too Explicit

An advertisement that depicts a woman carrying a goldfish in a water-filled condom has been pulled from television in communist Laos after authorities deemed it too explicit, a U.S.-based voluntary group that sells the condoms said.

Controversial Condom Ads Make Kenyan Adolescents Squirm And Adults Fume

In bars, shops, restaurants and homes across Kenya, racy TV ads attempting to encourage condom use are making adults fume and adolescents squirm.

Selecting & Installing Condoms

Read the proper ways of selecting and putting on a condom, how to avoid condom breakage, and what to do if a condom breaks.

The Love Glove Quiz

In honor of National Condom Week, take this quiz to see how much you know about one of the best methods of birth control out there!

Consent Condoms

The world of forensic science brings us the Consent Condom. Intended as an anti-date-rape device, the spaceage sheath works like this: The woman tears open the package and removes the inner sleeve, which records her fingerprints, signaling her consent. Next, she documents the date by tearing through the numbers that run down its sides. Effective? Yes. But is it a mood killer?" "Science may not be sexy, but then again, neither are accusations," says inventor David Morrow. MORE


Condom fatigue

There are a lot of myths and fallacies out there on the subject of safer sex. Sometimes, the answers to your questions aren't always clear-cut. But we want you to have as much information as possible to help you make informed decisions about your sex life. That's why we've put Dr. Jeffrey Klausner, an infectious disease specialist at the San Francisco Dept. of Public Health , at your service. Chances are, your most pressing questions have already been answered. If not, send Dr. Klausner a question, and we'll do our best to post his answer. NOTE: Dr. Klausner is not associated with, nor sponsored by, any of the advertisers on or PlanetOut.

Dear Dr. K,

Lately I've been having problems getting an erection while wearing a condom. Because of this I've been tempted to top a guy bare. How can I fix this before I end up in a risky situation?

It sounds like you might be putting a lot of pressure on yourself to top. Are there other ways you can still get off with someone while being safe? Also consider asking yourself why all of a sudden you are "not feeling it" while wearing a condom. Sometimes when we're mentally stressed or depressed, our penises work differently (or just don't work).

Another idea is to practice jacking off with a condom to make it easier to get hard when you're wearing a condom with a partner. You may want to see a doctor to talk about other things that could be making getting hard difficult, such as medications. Anti-depressants often have sexual side effects that can lower the chances of getting and staying hard. Other things that can make getting or sustaining erections difficult include poor blood flow to the penis.

Barebacking is a high-risk activity when it comes to getting and spreading HIV and other STDs. The only sure way to protect yourself during anal sex is by using condoms correctly and consistently.

To your health,

Dr. K


Like A Virgin? "Madonna Condoms"

Ten's of thousands have already been sold in Japan and Europe. Now Madonna Condoms are coming to the U.S. Sure to be collector's items, Madonna Condoms feature a photograph from her famous 1979 photo shoot, Madonna Nudes, on the boxes and condom wrappers. A 3-pack for $2.95. Click here to get yours!

The 'condom snorting challenge' is every parent's worst nightmare

A disturbing new viral trend has teenagers snorting unwrapped condoms as part of the “Condom Challenge." For more on the story here is Zachary Devita. Buzz60

Viral videos posted on social media show teenagers snorting condoms as part of a so-called "condom snorting challenge."

In the videos, teens put an unwrapped condom up one of their nostrils and inhale until the condom comes out of their mouth. Like other viral challenges, the condom snorting challenge has been around for years but recently reemerged on social media.

In San Antonio, Stephen Enriquez, who teaches drug and alcohol prevention to parents, has also started to teach parents about dangerous online trends like the condom snorting challenge, KABB-TV reported.

"Because these days our teens are doing everything for likes, views, and subscribers," Enriquez told the station. "As graphic as it is, we have to show parents because teens are going online looking for challenges and recreating them."

More: Tide Pods: Despite 'The Challenge,' P&G doubles down on detergent pouches

And this isn't the first time that teens have done questionable things in the pursuit of Internet fame. In 2012, more than 50,000 YouTube video clips showed young people swallow a tablespoon of dry cinnamon with no water, gag and spew out a cloud of orange dust as part of the "cinnamon challenge."

Likewise, just before the New Year, a spate of teenage poisonings were reported in the U.S. as a result of an Internet-based dare encouraging youths to post video of themselves biting or eating Tide Pods. The stunt, dubbed "The Tide Pod Challenge," has resulted in poison centers reporting 142 incidents in January.

While teens may think the condom snorting challenge goes without consequences, it can be dangerous, Bruce Y. Lee, a Forbes contributor and associate professor of International Health at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, said in a recent column.

Lee writes that with the exception of doctor-prescribed nasal sprays, "anything else that goes up your nose can damage the sensitive inner lining of your nose, cause an allergic reaction, or result in an infection."

He notes that the condom could also get stuck in the nasal cavity or the throat and cause someone to choke.

Rate of young women getting sterilized doubled after ‘Roe’ was overturned - 6/27/24

New research shows that women are getting sterilized at higher rates than men in the wake of the Dobbs ruling

Sophia Ferst remembers her reaction to learning that the Supreme Court had overturned Roe v. Wade: She needed to get sterilized.

Within a week, she asked her provider about getting the procedure done.

Ferst, 28, said she has always known she doesn’t want kids. She also worries about getting pregnant as the result of a sexual assault then being unable to access abortion services. “That’s not a crazy concept anymore,” she said.

“I think kids are really fun. I even see kids in my therapy practice, but, however, I understand that children are a big commitment,” she said.

In Montana, where Ferst lives, lawmakers have passed several bills to restrict abortion access, which have been tied up in court. Forty-one states have bans or restrictions on abortion, according to the Guttmacher Institute, and anti-abortion groups have advocated for restricting contraception access in recent years.

After Roe was overturned in June 2022, doctors said a wave of young people like Ferst started asking for permanent birth control like tubal ligations, in which the fallopian tubes are removed, or vasectomies.

New research published this spring in JAMA Health Forum shows how big that wave of young people is nationally.

University of Pittsburgh researcher Jackie Ellison and her co-authors used TriNetX, a national medical record database, to look at how many 18- to 30-year-olds were getting sterilized before and after the ruling. They found sharp increases in both male and female sterilization. Tubal ligations doubled from June 2022 to September 2023, and vasectomies increased over three times during that same time, Ellison said. Even with that increase, women are still getting sterilized much more often than men. Vasectomies have leveled off at the new higher rate, while tubal ligations still appear to be increasing.

Tubal ligations among young people had been slowly rising for years, but the ruling in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization had a discernible impact. “We saw a pretty substantial increase in both tubal ligation and vasectomy procedures in response to Dobbs,” Ellison said.

The data wasn’t broken out by state. But at least in states, like Montana, where the future of abortion rights is deeply uncertain, OB-GYNs and urologists say they are noticing the phenomenon.

Kalispell, Montana-based OB-GYN Gina Nelson said she’s seeing women of all ages, with and without children, seeking sterilization because of the Supreme Court’s Dobbs decision.

She said the biggest change is among young patients who don’t have children seeking sterilization. She said that’s a big shift from when she started practicing 30 years ago.

Nelson said she believes she is better equipped to talk them through the process now than she was in the 1990s, when she first had a 21-year-old patient ask for sterilization. “I wanted to respect her rights, but I also wanted her to consider a number of future scenarios,” she said, “so, I actually made her write an essay for me, and then she brought it in, jumped through all the hoops, and I tied her tubes.”

Nelson said she doesn’t make patients do that today but still believes she is responsible for helping patients deeply consider what they’re requesting. She schedules time with patients for conversations about the risks and benefits of all their birth control options. She said she believes that helps her patients make an informed decision about whether to move forward with permanent birth control.

The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists supports Nelson’s practice.

Louise King, an assistant professor of obstetrics at Harvard Medical School, who helps lead ACOG’s ethics committee, said providers are coming around to the idea of listening to their patients, not deciding for them whether they can get permanent contraception based on age or whether they have kids.

King said some young patients who ask about sterilization never go through with the procedure. She recalled one of her own recent patients who decided against a tubal ligation after King talked with them about an IUD.

“They were scared of the pain,” she said. But after she reassured the patient that they’d be under anesthesia and unable to feel pain, they went ahead with the intrauterine device, a reversible birth control method.

Helena-based OB-GYN Alexis O’Leary sees a divide between younger and older providers when it comes to female sterilization. O’Leary finished her residency six years ago. She said older providers are more reluctant to sterilize younger patients.

“I will routinely see patients that have been denied by other people because of, ‘Ah, you might want to have kids in the future.’ ‘You don’t have enough kids.’ ‘Are you sure you want to do this? It’s not reversible,’” she said.

That’s what happened to Ferst when she first tried to get a tubal ligation.

She asked her doctor for one after having an IUD for about a year. Ferst recalls her male OB-GYN asking her to bring in her partner at the time, who was a male, and her parents to talk about whether she could get sterilized.

“I was shocked by that,” she said.

So Ferst stuck with her IUD. But the uncertainty of abortion rights in Montana persuaded her to ask again.

She has found a younger OB-GYN who has agreed to sterilize her this year.

This article is from a partnership that includes MTPR, NPR, and KFF Health News. KFF Health News is a national newsroom that produces in-depth journalism about health issues and is one of the core operating programs at KFF—an independent source of health policy research, polling, and journalism.

Post-‘Roe,’ People Are Seeking Permanent Sterilizations, and Some Are Being Turned Away -- 7/25/22

A handful of people recently gathered in the shade of a large pine tree for a going-away party of sorts. Their friend, Dani Marietti, was going to have her fallopian tubes removed, a decision she made after a leaked draft of the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision to overturn the constitutional right to abortion was published in May.

The small group kicked off the “sterilization shower” for the 25-year-old by laying out chalk-written signs that said “See Ya Later Ovulater” and “I got 99 problems but tubes ain’t one.” And they munched on cookies that had abortion-rights slogans, such as “My Body, My Choice,” written on them in frosting.

“Cheers to Dani and her choice to get sterilized,” Kristina McGee-Kompel said.

Marietti is a full-time graduate student in Helena working toward becoming a therapist. She doesn’t want kids to get in the way of her career, she said. She had considered permanent sterilization before, but the possibility that the Supreme Court would overturn Roe v. Wade pushed her to seek out an OB-GYN who would help her with a permanent method of contraception.

“‘I want to do this as soon as possible,’” she recalled telling the doctor.

“I always knew I didn’t want children, and of course when you say that as a younger person, everyone is like, ‘Oh, you’ll change your mind,’ or, ‘Just wait until you find the one,’” she said. “I always kind of ignored that.”

Abortion is still legal in Montana, but whether it will remain so is unclear. State Attorney General Austin Knudsen, a Republican, has asked the Montana Supreme Court to overturn its 1999 decision that said the state constitution’s right to privacy includes the right to end a pregnancy.

The uncertainty around abortion access in Montana and other states where abortion is now or could become illegal, plus the fear of future legal fights over long-term contraception, has seemingly spurred a rise in the number of people seeking surgical sterilization, according to reports from doctors. That includes Marietti, who is having a salpingectomy, a procedure in which the fallopian tubes are removed instead of tied, as in tubal ligation, which can be reversible.

How many people sought permanent sterilization after the fall of Roe won’t become clear until next year, said Megan Kavanaugh, a researcher for the Guttmacher Institute, which gathers data related to reproductive health care across the U.S. and supports abortion rights.

But anecdotal reports indicate that more people have been undergoing permanent birth control procedures since the Supreme Court’s June 24 decision in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization, which struck down Roe. Dr. Kavita Arora, who chairs the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists’ ethics committee, said providers across the country are beginning to see an influx of patients into their operating rooms.

The North Carolina OB-GYN recounted what one of her patients said just before a recent surgery. “She wanted to have autonomous control over her body, and this was her way of ensuring she was the person who got to make the decisions,” Arora said.

In Montana, Dr. Marilee Simons, an OB-GYN at Bozeman Health Deaconess Hospital, said more adults in their 20s and 30s without children have come to the hospital for sterilization consultations. Many are women who already practice birth control, she said. “They are still worried about an unintended pregnancy and what that might mean in the future,” she said.

Most are asking to have their tubes removed to permanently prevent pregnancy. A smaller number of people are asking for hysterectomies, which surgically remove part or all of the uterus. To meet demand, Bozeman Deaconess has dedicated at least one provider to work with these patients multiple days a week.

Planned Parenthood of Montana President and CEO Martha Fuller said clinics statewide have seen an “unprecedented” increase in patients asking to be sterilized, including requests for vasectomies.

But some people seeking sterilization procedures across the U.S. are being turned away. Arora said some patients who don’t have children and are in their childbearing years are reporting difficulties finding providers willing to sterilize them.

Those providers’ reluctance may stem from studies and data that suggest the risk of regret for patients who are sterilized at age 30 or younger is high. Other studies had mixed results and found that some women feel less regret over time, Arora said.

Arora said she makes sure her patients understand the implications of any sterilization procedure, especially irreversible options. She also asks whether patients are being pressured into asking for the procedure. “I honestly believe my job is not to be a gatekeeper, but to empower and uplift those goals and wishes, especially after good, shared decision-making and informed consent,” she said.

Some patients who have been denied sterilizations have turned to therapists like Barbara DeBree, who has a private practice in Helena and writes letters to providers attesting that the patients have thought through their decisions. Other mental health care providers say they’re also fielding requests for letters of support, DeBree said.

“This is not a quick decision for them,” she said, referring to the patients asking for letters.

Providers’ ethical worries about future regrets aren’t the only barriers that patients seeking sterilization procedures may face. Cost and insurance coverage can also be issues.

Helena resident Alex Wright, 23, doesn’t plan to have children and wants to be sterilized. She plans to schedule a consultation to see whether her provider will perform the procedure. She said that if her regular provider won’t do it, she will seek out someone from online lists of providers willing to perform the procedure on younger people.

“That’s only helpful if I can get the financial assistance to get it taken care of through those people,” she said, referring to her insurance coverage.

Wright said her insurance company estimates she’ll pay about $4,000 out-of-pocket if she goes with an in-network provider. Using an out-of-network doctor could cost substantially more.

Although some people are seeking permanent procedures in reaction to the Dobbs decision, others are doing so because they believe the Supreme Court will continue upending reproductive health norms. Kavanaugh, the researcher at Guttmacher, said Justice Clarence Thomas opened that door by suggesting in his concurring opinion in Dobbs that other precedents should be revisited, including the 1965 Griswold v. Connecticut decision that says banning contraceptives violates a married couple’s right to privacy.

“I think we are anticipating that there’s going to be some attacks on contraception,” Kavanaugh said.

That’s what worries Shandel Buckalew, of Billings, Montana, who wants a full hysterectomy. The 31-year-old said her doctor thinks she has endometriosis, a painful condition in which tissue that normally grows inside the uterus grows on other parts of the reproductive organs. Buckalew hasn’t undergone the full range of testing that can be required for a diagnosis because she doesn’t have health insurance and can’t afford it.

“Even though I have an IUD, the amount of cramps and the pain I go through — oh, I get so sick,” she said.

She hopes a hysterectomy would alleviate that pain, in addition to providing permanent birth control because she doesn’t want kids. But her lack of health insurance makes the procedure unaffordable.

She’s trying to get health insurance before her intrauterine device expires in two years because she fears the reproductive health care landscape could shift dramatically. She described feeling terrified and angry.

“It feels like my life doesn’t matter,” she said.

This story is part of a partnership that includes Montana Public Radio, Yellowstone Public Radio, NPR, and KHN.

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We all worry about the population explosion, but we don't worry about it at the right time. - Arthur Hope

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