Expired condoms compromise safe sex

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THE promotion of safe sex is important to the nation and all organizations involved in this ought to be commended.

Safe sex helps to prevent the spread of sexually transmitted diseases as well unplanned pregnancies.

We are also aware that the use of condoms has been promoted as one way of ensuring safe sex.

It is no wonder that many health centres and even shops stock condoms which are given free or sold.

Couples and any person that is sexually active is encouraged to use condoms to prevent the spread of sexually transmitted infections (STis).

Condoms are  effective against some of the sexually transmitted diseases such as Syphilis, Gonorrhea, Chlamydia, including HIV, the virus that causes AIDS.

They are also effective against unintended pregnancies which are today causing a ruckus in nearly every part of Zambia especially among school-going girls.

Although condoms have long expiry dates, medical experts have advised that it is always best to use the sheaths before those dates because condoms are likely to fail when their elasticity is compromised.

Keeping it in your wallet or any place that exposes it to heat and moisture and of course when its expiry date is over, disturbs their ability to hold together   and consequently burst out.

So the reported seizure of  over 300  expired Maximum condoms by health authorities in Chama district of Muchinga Province should be taken seriously by all those who addictively use the commodity.

This is because the risk of using expired condoms is more than just unwanted or the famous early pregnancies but can also lead to spread of infectious diseases that are sexually transmitted.

After the expiration date of latex condom, its sap starts to dry out making it brittle and with more drying, the flexibility and strength of the condoms keeps getting worse.

The older the condom, the more likely it is to break. Even the spermicides used in some condoms become less effective after the expiry date. This is because the substance that kills sperms loses its lubrication and effectiveness.

Chama District health environmental   technologist Kunda Mukungule who led the team that seized the expired Maximum condoms has not minced his words about the dangers of using such items.

He says expired condoms are often drier and weaker and so they are more likely to break during sexual intercourse and this may put people at risk of sexually transmitted infections (STIs) or unwanted pregnancies.

It is therefore desirable that users make sure they avoid the risk of using expired condoms by checking the pack and replacing one if it is close to expiry.

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