Stop washing and reusing condoms: health officials

People are washing, reusing condoms – here’s why
WATCH: People are washing, reusing condoms – here’s why

It may seem like common knowledge, but some haven’t figured condoms should never be reused.

In a recent tweet from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in the U.S., the organization sent out a reminder not to wash or reuse condoms after sex.

“We say it because people do it: Don’t wash or reuse #condoms! Use a fresh one for each #sex act.”

READ MORE: Are online hookups behind Canada’s rising STI rates?

And while it may seem far-fetched, Forbes notes previous studies have shown 1.4 per cent and 3.3 per cent of people admitted to reusing the same condom during sex.

“Use a new condom for every act of vaginal, anal and oral sex throughout the entire sex act (from start to finish). Before any genital contact, put the condom on the tip of the erect penis with the rolled side out,” the CDC notes. “Wrap the condom in a tissue and throw it in the trash where others won’t handle it.”

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Proper condom use will reduce the risk of sexually transmitted infections, diseases like Zika and Ebola and pregnancy.

WATCH: Free condoms to tackle high STI rates

Social media users can’t believe it

On Twitter, many were disturbed by the CDC’s tweet, while others used it as a jumping off point to make jokes. But most couldn’t figure out why anyone would want to use the same condom twice.

Others pointed out this all comes down to proper sex ed.

READ MORE: Seniors have sex – and the STI rates to prove it

Forbes noted besides a lack of awareness, there could be other reasons people decide to reuse or wash condoms, including price. “With condoms costing on average only 50 cents to a dollar in the U.S. … However, condoms are not always so inexpensive. For example, as Anatoly Kurmanaev and Andrew Rosati reported in 2015 for Bloomberg, economic conditions and short supply in Venezuela led to condom packs costing as high as $755.”

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Others may also be embarrassed to buy more condoms. “Even though it is a natural act, many people are still reluctant to discuss it openly.”

Proper condom use

And with multiple guides on how to properly use condoms, the CDC adds for men, don’t store condoms in your wallet — heat and friction could damage them. Also, don’t use more than one condom at a time or use oil-based products like baby oil, lotion or petroleum jelly as lubricants.

READ MORE: Why STI rates are steadily going up in Canada

“If you feel the condom break at any point during sexual activity, stop immediately, withdraw, remove the broken condom, and put on a new condom,” the site adds.

Concordia University adds human error (instead of improper manufacturing) is often the reason condoms break. Don’t use expired condoms or forget to pinch the receptor tip before putting it on.
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