From ArticleWorld

Condom on the Buenos Aires Obelisco.
Condom on the Buenos Aires Obelisco.

The first condoms were made of woven fabrics; and as such were not very effective; followed by the more successful ones made out of sheep gut or other animal membranes. In the middle of the 19th century, rubber condoms were mass produced and so it remained until the 1930’s when latex became the material of choice due to the fact that it resulted in a more affordable, more effective condom.

Nowadays, condoms come in different shapes, colours, tastes and textures but are all designed basically to be rolled onto an erect penis.

Use as a contraceptive

With proper application, condoms effectively prevent pregnancy up to 98% of the time. When combined with a vaginal spermicide, this success rate increases even further. Any failures are usually attributed to the fact that the condom was not properly applied due to inexperience or lack of knowledge of the proper procedure.

Preventing sexually transmissible infections

According to one study carried out in 2001, the risk of HIV transmission was reduced by up to 85% and gonorrhea by 71%. The effectiveness of reducing other STI’s depends on whether there are ulcerative lesions not covered by the condom which come in contact with the other partner.

Female condoms

A recent development has been the production of the female condom which are designed to be inserted into the vagina. The external genitals of the woman wearing the condom and the base of the penis of the male partner are more protected than by the male condom. Several women’s groups are urging for the condom to be made more available to those women most at risk of AIDS, mostly in the developing world, as it is the only protection device available that women are able to control themselves.