Reusing and recycling household items is an easy way to do your part to help save the environment.
But the Center for Disease Control (CDC) took the unprecedented step to warn about the dangers of reusing one particular item: condoms.
"We say it because people do it: Don't wash or reuse #condoms! Use a fresh one for each #sex act," The CDC tweeted in July.
We say it because people do it: Don't wash or reuse #condoms! Use a fresh one for each #sex act. https://t.co/o3SPayRf9m pic.twitter.com/AwkPqE9YMl— CDC STD (@CDCSTD) July 23, 2018
Condoms are designed to help protect you and your sexual partner from spreading sexually transmitted diseases, like syphilis or chlamydia, as well as unwanted pregnancy.
The effectiveness of condoms, however, is eliminated after the first use.
"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," Elizabeth Torrone, an epidemiologist at the CDC's Division of STD Prevention, told Buzzfeed.
Simply washing a condom with soap won't kill any bacteria or virus lurking on the condom's surface – meaning, it's pretty much useless.
Putting a wet, unrolled condom back on would also be a Herculean task.
If that's not enough to encourage you to throw your old condoms in the trash and rely on fresh ones instead, then maybe the alarming rise in cases of super gonorrhea, an antibiotic-resistant strain of the bug, will.
This article was originally published by Business Insider.
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