Contraception. Birth control. It's something we all have to consider at some point in our lives but are we really aware of all of our options? Probably not, considering many of us were passed a prescription for the pill on our first visit to the doctor and haven't questioned it since. And why would we? The introduction of the contraceptive pill in 1961 marked the liberation of women, the release from the fear of pregnancy and the ability to embrace our sexual agency.
But the fact is, medical technology has moved on in droves and there are so many alternatives out there that might be better suited to you. Including ones that have yet to hit the market, like the reusable condom.
The waste from single-use condoms is one thing, but for developing countries, the need for a safe sex method that's affordable, accessible and reusable is the main reason for its creation.
Pearl Health is hoping to develop a material that can withstand re-use and intermittent sterilisation via boiled water. All without dulling sensation, because, let's be honest, nobody will use it if it doesn't feel good.
HERE'S A QUICK RUN DOWN OF THE PROS AND CONS OF USING A CONVENTIONAL CONDOM:
What is a condom?
Ah, the good old condom. A stretchy, latex (rubber), polyisoprene or polyurethane barrier worn around the penis to stop a man's semen from coming into contact with his sexual partner.
How effective are condoms?
When used correctly, condoms are 98% effective, but there's the issue of a condom breaking (usually due to snags caused by finger nails or jewellery), or else putting the condom on the tip of the penis the wrong way round, coating it in pre-ejaculation sperm, then flipping it over and using it anyway.
Plus points of condoms
Condoms are the only - yes, the only - form of contraction that protect against sexually transmitted infections. If you're not in a committed sexual relationship where both people have had a recent check up, it's a very good idea to use condoms.
They are hormone-free, meaning no unwanted side effects or health risks. Also, you don't have to use them or even think about them any time other than when you're about to have sex.
Negatives to condoms
They interrupt sex and can be a bit of a mood-killer. If your partner is a lingerer (if he likes to stay inside you after ejaculating) and his penis loses its erection, the sperm can leak out the sides of the condom - not ideal.