The History of the Condom

Menstuff® has compiled the following information on the History of the Condom.

The History Of The Condom

It's not known for sure where the name "condom" came from, but it may have been derived from a word of Latin origin: "condus," which means a vessel or a container. Perhaps it was naemd this because it was first aimed to hold the semen and bacteria/viruses of diseases that are sexually transmitted without letting them enter in the another partner’s body.

The first public demonstration of the condoms is recorded to be around 15th century. It was made and used first in Italy. The name of the person who used it first was Gabrielle. The purpose of making condom was to prevent infection of the disease, Syphilis. Although protection was already being used against diseases centuries earlier, Gabrielle was trying to bring it more to people's attention.

Gabrielle used linen as the basic substance in making a condom. As it was a public demonstration; he conducted experiment with a group of over thousand people to prove that the thing that he made was very useful against Syphilis.

A thread of condom history also comes from Rome, where the warriors wore the tubes on their penis which they obtained from the intestines of enemies they killed. Sometimes they wore the intestinal tubes of animals like sheep, goat etc. With the reference from history, by 1700, condom was realized for its use. Many shops were raised to sell condoms.

Records indicate that as early as 1000 BCE, the ancient Egyptians used a linen sheath, tied at the base with ribbon, for protection against disease, while the Chinese are known to have used oiled silk paper. These materials were used for centuries.

The oldest condoms ever found date back to 1640 and were excavated near Birmingham, England. They were made of fish and animal intestine.

In 16th century Italy, Gabrielle Fallopius authored the first-known published description of prophylactic condom use. Fallopius conducted trials among 1,100 men using a sheath made of linen; none of the men became infected with syphilis. During this period, protection was also improved by soaking the cloth sheaths in a chemical solution and allowing them to dry prior to use — the first use of a spermicide on condoms.The condom’s usefulness in preventing pregnancy was recognized in the 1700s.

Condoms made out of animal intestines became widely available in Europe, but were costly and often reused. In 19th century Japan, the Japanese had condoms made from two other materials: one made of thin leather and the other of thin tortoise shells or horns.

The mass-production of “rubbers” began after 1844 and the invention of vulcanization, a process that turns crude rubber into a strong elastic material.These were as thick as inner tubes, had a seam, and deteriorated rapidly. Latex manufacturing processes improved sufficiently in the 1930s to produce single-use condoms almost as thin and inexpensive as the ones used today.

The reservoir tip on the latex condom was introduced in the early 1950s, textured condoms in 1973. In 1994, Polyurethane emerged as an alternative to latex, leading to the development of both male condoms for latexsensitive people and the female condom.

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