In case it's still not painfully obvious, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention now warns sexually active individuals not to wash and reuse condoms.
A condom is not an item of clothing, but a lot of people still don't understand that concept. A paper published in 2012 found that 1.4 to 3.3 percent of people admitted to having reused the same condom during sexual intercourse. Just note that these are just percentages of people who actually admitted to doing it.
A condom is designed to be used exactly just one time. At any point once it's removed, it should be thrown away, no exceptions. People who reuse condoms are putting their partner at risk of sexually transmitted diseases.
Not only is washing and reusing condoms downright disgusting, but it's also useless and ineffective. Soap and water won't eliminate microorganisms such as HIV or hepatitis C that may be present on the condom after sex.
Why Some People Reuse Condoms
So why do some people reuse condoms? Well, there are a number of reasons. First, according to Forbes, is the cost. Typically, condoms are fairly inexpensive, but not so in many other countries. For example, in 2015, a Bloomberg report revealed that because of economic conditions and short supply, condoms in Venezuela cost as high as $755 at one point.
The second reason is that there might be a condom shortage across the globe. For example, New Zealand has been facing shortages on larger-sized condoms. Also, some people who run out simply may not be willing to go out to a pharmacy or vending machine to get another one.
The third reason is that some people simply don't understand the importance of using new condoms for each sex act and have no grasp on the potential hazardous impacts of reusing condoms. Condoms are among the most effective means of birth control and preventing the spread of STDs, with a 98 percent effectiveness rate. This number drops when a condom is used incorrectly.
What Happens When You Reuse Condoms
"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," according to Elizabeth Torrone, an epidemiologist at the CDC's Division of STD Prevention.
Simply put, used condoms should be thrown away immediately, even if no ejaculation occurs after sex.
"You should use the condom in the way the manufacturer has intended and tested — if you don't, you cannot rely on the condom anymore to do those duties," according to OB-GYN Alyssa Dweck.