Powerball jackpots? Youve got about a 1 in 175 million chance. Getting struck by lightning this year? One 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 finalists are getting ready to roll out more details about their condom designs in hopes of winning the rubber match $1 million for further research and development. The goal of the competition is to reduce the number of unintended pregnancies and sexually transmitted diseases 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 health care system is $17 billion. And there are around 1.3 million unintended pregnancies in the U.S. (87 million worldwide). That costs the U.S. taxpayers 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.
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. To live your healthiest, visit sharecare.com. Distributed by King Features Syndicate, Inc.