New Condoms? It's a Wrap

New Condoms? It's a Wrap

Powerball jackpots? You’ve got about a 1 in 175 million chance. Getting struck by lightening this year -- 1 in 700,000. But the 11 finalists of the Bill and Melissa Gates Foundation Condom Competition had a 1 in 75 chance of landing their $100,000 prize (there were 812 fellow competitors and you had to be pretty creative to get a ticket). Suggested designs included styles that were strong, sensitive and easy-to-manipulate; some provided hassle-free deployment in the dark; others included improved lubrication and heat transfer. Many contained spermicides and antiviral or antibacterial drugs.

The goal of the competition was to reduce the number of unintended pregnancies and sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) worldwide by getting men (and getting women to get men) to wear condoms!

There are 19 million new cases of STDs annually in the U.S. (250 million worldwide). The bill to your healthcare system -- $17 billion. And there are around 1.3 million unintended pregnancies in the U.S. (87 million worldwide). That cost to U.S. taxpayer; another $11 billion.

Our advice: With or without new forms of protection, talk to your doctor about your sexual health. Then you and your partner can enjoy all the health benefits of intimacy: less stress, a stronger immune system, lower blood pressure, better muscle tone and flexibility and less prostate cancer for guys. And remember, mutually enjoyable sex makes your RealAge younger.

Medically reviewed in January 2020.

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