Weekly Sex Ed: The History of the Condom

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history of condom

Condoms are not a new idea, since the ancient times some version of condoms were been used throughout history. Not only do they prevent pregnancies but they are also the one of the best ways to prevent STD infections. Avoiding infections is important because some curable STDs can have a long term effect on your reproductive organs. For example HPV (human papillomavirus) was shown to increase the risk of cervical cancer, while chlamydia and gonorrhoea infections can lead to infertility.

Accessibility and warning signs

Let’s face it, when it comes to protection, we have it pretty easy. In ancient times versions of condoms were hard to come by and were usually available for the wealthy. Today you can find condoms everywhere; the supermarkets, pharmacies, you can even buy condoms online and choose from a wide array of brands with different colours, flavours and even materials. The only thing you should look out for when buying in stores is that the condoms are not damaged or expired. Condoms get damaged when exposed to heat, friction or light, so pay attention to the packaging and you should be able to tell whether the condom is damaged or not.

Ancient Times

Scientist claim that the first evidence of condoms are depicted on the walls of Grotte des Combarelles in France. The drawing depicts a human-like figure wearing protective wrapping around the penis. And the Romans opted for condoms made from goats’ bladders. There is also a Greek legend where Minos used a goat’s blotter as a female condom.

Middle Ages 

Before the 15th century, glad condoms were used in Asia, where the condoms would only cover the head of the penis. The Chinese these condoms were made from lamb intestines or oiled silk paper while the Japanese used animal horns or tortoise shells.  Gabriele Falloppio was the first to recommend the use of condoms in his book that was published during the 16th century. In it he describes them as linen cloths that cover the gland with ribbons to keep them in place. During the Renascence besides linen sheep intestines were used as well.

18th Century

During the 18th century the industry grew rapidly, by this time people could buy different sizes or qualities and even have a choice between linen or animal skin. But they were mostly used by the upper and middle class due to their price and the fact that the lower classes were not educated enough to see their significance.

19th Century

In the early 19th century people were raising STD awareness of the lower classes and were also promoting condom use. Thanks to Charles Goodyear, the inventor of rubber vulcanization, the first rubber condom was produced in 1855. The earliest version cover only the gland, would tend to fall off during use and a doctor had to measure a patient to determine the size needed. But soon enough, manufactures realised the advantage of full-length condoms that would fit anyone.

When it became legal to advertise condoms in 1918 companies drew in buyers by making packaging and names more appealing and this marketing move doubled condom sales. Soon after the military was promoting safe sex and providing condoms to their men. During the 60s and 70s quality regulations were improved and in1978 the first television ad was aired. Call Girls in Bangalore.