A Brief History of the Condom

Did you know that condoms have been around for thousands of years? The first use was plausibly as far back as 950 B.C. That year has been estimated to be its beginning because of paintings found in Egypt from those times depicting condoms being used. There were also paintings in Europe showing early use but not as long as ago as that. It is believed they began to use them between the first and second centuries.

The word condom comes from the Latin word condus, meaning container or vessel. This entails the concept that it was used to hold something in it. In some places early ones were made from leather while others they were made out of animal intestines. In Japan the early ones were made from leather or tortoise shells.

Enemy Battle Prizes

In the Roman times the men wore them as a battle prize, using the intestines of their enemies to shield their penises. Later they used the intestines of sheep or goats. In the fourteen hundreds the Italians began to promote the use of condoms in the prevention of sexually transmitted diseases.

The pressing concern of the time was syphilis. It was not until the seventeen hundreds that it was understood that condoms were able to do more than merely protect against diseases. Around that time was when they began to be sold in stores.

The Rubber Revolution

Once the invention of vulcanized rubber had occurred, in the seventeen hundreds, it was used to make condoms. Then in the 1930s, the invention of latex condom making signaled a further leap forward. Improvements continue up to the present day with condoms still being manufactured of latex, but with thinner and more comfortable forms of the material. For those who are allergic to latex there are some condoms that are made of polyurethane.

They come in a variety of sizes to ensure a snug fit. If the man is small, average or large there is a condom to fit him. Although not a one hundred percent guaranteed protection against pregnancy, condoms are rated in the high nineties, plus they still fulfill more than one purpose.

This can be said of no other method of contraception. They prevents pregnancy while also protecting the couple from spreading an STD; sexually transmitted disease. Although the most popular types of condoms are used only by men, there now is a female condom as well.


A new development in recent years has seen the marketing of a condom for women. Known as a femidoms or the vaginal pouch, they are the same length as the condom used by men but are wider. The femidoms is placed into the vagina and keep there until intercourse is over. These are usually made of polyurethane and have an outer ring keep it in position.

It has the advantage for women that they being are now able to take their own precautions against the possibility of catching an STD. This is relatively new and how it is being received by women is still unknown. Though some women have said it is not all that comfortable while others have complained about the noise it makes during intercourse.