087: Condoms & Herpes with Alexandra Harbushka

Condoms and Herpes Prevention


Life With Herpes

One of my biggest pet peeves are when people say…”oh I always use a condom so I am fine or clean or there is no way I have herpes.” Firstly bravo and a huge pat on the back for “always using a condom” you are one in a very small majority. But I also want to let you know that just because you are using condoms it does not mean you are totally protected. Here is why…

Everything you ever wanted to know about condoms…

  • Male condoms are used to cover the penis to prevent bodily fluids from both partners from passing which prevents pregnancy and stds. They are made out of latex, plastic or animal skins. If condoms are used correctly and consistently they are very effective. Condoms should be used when having oral, anal or vaginal sex.
  • Female Condoms -  Are bigger than a male condom and are used a little differently than the male condom.
  • Both Female and Male condoms are hormone free and if used correctly are effective. Please keep in mind that male and female condoms cannot be used together.
  • If you want to use lube then only used a water-based lube not an oil based lube. The oil can eat away at the latex and make them less effectiveness
  • It is very important to know that the condoms that are made out of animal skin do not protect you against STI’s or STD’s’ or Herpes they are only to prevent pregnancy. Only the condoms that are made out of Latex or Plastic condoms prevent the transmission of herpes
  • Always check the expiration date and don’t store them in a hot place like you wallet (guys) or your car. The heat breaks them down as well.
  • For more information and videos Planned Parenthood female and male condoms

When you should use a condom…

Oral, Anal and Vaginal Sex

Yes, I said oral sex. Condoms should be used for all types of sexual activity oral, vaginal and anal sex. I have gone into specifics on other episodes 68 &  69 . But to touch lightly on this subject of using a condom or a dental dam for ladies for oral sex and why it is so important is because herpes can be transmitted from oral to genital. So if you or your partner have oral herpes and perform oral sex then you can be exposing your partner to herpes in their genital region. So yes, oral, vaginal and anal. Viral Shedding in episode 84

Pro tip: cut a condom down the middle to use it as a dental dam. Also, you can purchase flavored condoms so get creative.

How the heck do condoms protect you?

In this case we are speaking specifically about herpes and preventing the transmission of herpes. Herpes is a skin to skin transmission. When an infected person comes in contact with an uninfected person then the risk of transmission is there. When using condoms the condom creates a barrier between the skin thus hopefully not infecting one another.

Here is what I want you to be aware of on why they are not 100% guaranteed to prevent passing herpes.
  1. Actually using them and using them the entire time (guilty)
  2. Using them correctly (this means foreplay and oral and anal)
  3. There are other skin to skin areas that come into contact when having sex.
I want to cover this in detail for a couple of reasons. Firstly, if you are one of the people who always used a condom and ended up with herpes and are beating yourself up over this then I want you to STOP. I want you to understand that you didn’t do anything wrong and yes, even though you always used a condom you probably didn’t know (because of the lack of sex education in our society) that some STD’s/I’s were still able to be passed. I have people in their 50’s asking me how in the world they contracted herpes in their 20’s because they always used a condom. Well, this is why. And secondly, the reason I wanted to go into detail about the use of condoms is that I want you to know that if you are worried about telling your partner or think that if you just “use a condom” then it will be fine well it might not always be fine.

In other episodes, I go into details on the best methods to use to prevent passing herpes to your partner. Just in case you want to keep learning more about this. Episodes 78 & 82

Need to order some condoms… go here for male condoms and go here for female condoms  

Here’s How I Can Help

Join our monthly live Herpes Support Group - www.lifewithherpes.com/supportgroup

Herpes Outbreak Toolkit - //herpes-outbreak-toolkit

Emergency Call - https://app.acuityscheduling.com/schedule.php?owner=13691061&appointmentType=6092800

Keep in touch with Alexandra Harbushka





Join The Life With Herpes Community

If you are ready to join a community of people who are living with herpes also then you will want to join our slack group. It is FREE and it is a great way to find the support and comfort that you are looking for. Head on over to www.lifewithherpes.com and join our community. You will receive a slack invitation as soon as you sign up. See you in there.

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If you enjoyed this episode as much as we enjoyed making it for you than a subscribe would be a great idea.

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Don Juan

Great video. True fact most people dont know. Non Latex condoms (animal origin) dont protect from STDs! There was a time in my life I thought I got allergies from Latex so I switched to these. Had no clue it was equivalent to unprotected sex in terms of desease/infections. Watch out guys and girls!
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Thanks for sharing. Yep...most people don't know that the animal condoms and nonlatex only prevent pregnancy.
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