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Gold-medal safe sex: Top tips for condom use

Sep. 17, 2012 @ 12:00 AM

The Olympics are over, and the athletes have returned to their home countries. They left behind moments of glory, moments of disappointment and, apparently, more than 150,000 condom wrappers. That's the number of contraceptives that were supplied to the London Olympic villagers (up from 100,000 in Beijing).

This prompts us to point out that safe sex -- whether it's safety from unwanted pregnancy or protection from STDs -- is something international athletes seem to take seriously. Safe sex is not an amateur sport; it's a matter of life and death.

So here are our eight top tips for effective condom use:

1. Always check the package for visible damage.

2. Check the expiration date. It's five years for plain latex; two years for those with spermicide -- if kept cool and dry (not in a wallet!).

3. Talk to your partner about using a condom BEFORE emotions take over.

4. Leave room at the top. Gently squeeze out air and provide room for the sperm.

5. Easy does it, because if you're not careful, there's a 1 in 3 chance the condom will break.

6. Only use water- or silicone-based lubricants (petroleum jelly and face creams can make latex leaky!).

7. Buy a condom that fits, but isn't too big, and is made of latex. Only latex protects against most STDs. (No condom protects against HPV or genital herpes.)

8. Leave it on long enough to see you through the ups and downs of the main event.

On to Rio in 2016!

Mehmet Oz, M.D. is host of "The Dr. Oz Show," and Mike Roizen, M.D. is Chief Medical Officer at the Cleveland Clinic Wellness Institute. For more information go to www.RealAge.com.

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