Subject:  Condoms (11/8/01)

Q:      Actually, from what  I understand, those goat skin condoms aren't that effective at birth control either.  They aren't a good idea all around.  In fact, why DO people use them?  To avoid the mess?

A:      You are right that some of the animal skin condoms are not even very effective as birth control.  Depending on the animal used, their effectiveness will vary, but none are as effective as latex or polyurethane condoms.  I guess people use them because they either mistakenly believe they are effective or at least want some minimal protection.  Also, from what I understand, they do not decrease sensitivity as much as latex or polyurethane condoms do, but since they are not as effective, it doesn’t seem like a very good trade-off to me.  However, when used in ADDITION to another form of birth control (i.e. diaphragm, IUD, sponge, etc.), animal skin condoms are very effective as birth control.  You must remember, though, those other forms of birth control do nothing to prevent transmission of STDs, including HIV.  Although I must add, I have never heard of a condom made from a goat, although stranger things have happened…


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