Sure, reusing condoms might save you a dollar or two but do you know what it will cost you?

Recently, the Center for Disease Control (CDC) discovered that people are washing and reusing condoms in an effort to save money. Not only is this unsanitary, it may be contributing to the rise of many sexually transmitted diseases, like gonorrhea, chlamydia, and syphilis.

Currently, all three of these diseases are at a record high. In 2015, there were:

  • 1.5 million cases of chlamydia reported
  • 400,000 cases of gonorrhea reported
  • 24,000 cases of primary and secondary syphilis reported.

When used correctly, condoms are some of the most effective ways to prevent pregnancy and certain SDIs. Unfortunately, condoms are not always used correctly. Washing and reusing a condom makes it virtually ineffective, according to experts at the CDC.

"Incorrect use, such as reusing a condom or using more than one at a time, diminishes the protective effect of condoms by leading to condom breakage, slippage, or leakage," said Dr. Elizabeth Torrone, an epidemiologist at the CDC's Division of STD Prevention.

Additional Condom Safety Measures

Even when using brand new condoms, it’s important that you follow a few basic rules.

  • Never leave condoms in your wallet. Most men keep their wallet in their back pocket. Over time, that combined pressure can weaken the latex. The best place to keep condoms is a dry, cool environment, like a nightstand.
  • Check the expiration date. Yes, condoms can expire!
  • Never flip a condom. If you initially put a condom on the wrong way, never flip it to the right side. Instead, throw it out and use a new one. Anytime a condom touches your genitals, even if it’s before sex, you should always throw it out.
  • Don’t use a condom if it’s wet. Wet condoms are more likely to tear, slip off, and break during sex.

If you’re unable to afford condoms, there are many places you can get them for free — CIRCLE Care Center is one of them!