What are condoms?
Condoms are used to help prevent pregnancy and protect from HIV and other sexually transmitted infections (STIs) when you have vaginal, anal or oral sex. Condoms can be made out of different materials; if you are allergic to latex, use polyurethane. The female condom is a thin, but very strong pouch, inserted into the vagina or the anus and can be used by both men and women for safe vaginal and anal sex.
How does it work, and are condoms effective?
Condoms work by blocking or catching the sperm and preventing it from going inside the girl’s vagina. If used correctly every time they are 97% effective, and are more than 99% effective if used with a spermicide. If not used correctly every time they are 86% effective.
Some condoms are lubricated, making them more slippery and comfortable to use during sex. Lubricant is a water-based, slippery liquid that can help prevent condoms from breaking during use and may prevent irritation caused by the skin-on-skin friction that can happen during sex. Oil based lubricants such as Vaseline or baby oil will break down latex causing it to tear, and should only be used with polyurethane condoms.
Are there any side effects from using condoms?
- if you are allergic to latex, use polyurethane
- spermicides can cause irritations
What should I know about using a condom?
- lots of different sizes, make sure it fits
- available at pharmacies, supermarkets and other stores
- don’t need to see a medical provider
- must be used within their use-by date
- don’t use if the seal is broken or the condom is damaged
- prevents transmission of some STIs and HIV
- easy to use, but may interrupt sex
- oil based lubricants break down latex