Wearing two condoms is counterproductive

MARPs Network

MARPs Network

Key population and LGBT Peer leaders in Training.

During a recent a recent project, Low Dose Frequency (LDHF) Training for KP/PP Community Peer Leaders (PLs) on Combination HIV Prevention, a peer leader brought up a conversation that many seemed to agree with.

“Some customers come with two condoms and they insist on wearing them at a go. When we try to sensitize them about the dangers of that practice, they accuse us trying to infect them with STIs or HIV. If you instist on using one condom, they leave you and go to someone else yet you also want the money.”

Many of her colleagues echoed the same concern.

So it got us thinking, are men well sensitized on the proper use of condoms?

Using two male condoms at the same time isn’t recommended for pregnancy prevention or as a safer sex method. In fact, “double-bagging” as it is sometimes called, can increase the friction between the condoms during intercourse, making them more likely to rip or tear.

This could be why you haven’t heard of using two condoms at once before — because it is, in fact, counterproductive. The same goes for using a male condom and female condom at the same time. An issue that was mentioned by another participant in the meeting.

It may be reassuring to know that, even on their own, single condoms are highly reliable in preventing STIs and HIV as well as well as pregnancies.

Research has shown that only two out of every 100 couples who use condoms correctly and consistently for one year will have an unintended pregnancy, giving condoms a 98 percent effectiveness rate.

It’s important to note that, when condoms do fail, it is most often a result of human error, mistakes that people make, rather than defects in the condoms themselves.

When used incorrectly (e.g., using more than one condom at a time, not putting the condom on properly, reusing a condom, etc.) the effectiveness of condoms drops substantially.

Also, remember that when choosing a lube to use in combination with condoms (regardless of whether the lube contains spermicide or not), pick a water soluble type, not oil-based. Oil-based lubricants will deteriorate the latex in condoms.

Have fun and stay safe!

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