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Male Condom


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Photograph of Male Condoms in brightly coloured wrappers

What are they?

Condoms are made of very thin latex rubber they are put on the erect penis and stop sperm from entering the vagina. Condoms are the only contraception that protect against pregnancy and STIs.

How does it work? 

The male condom is worn on the penis to stop sperm from entering the man's partner's vagina, mouth or anus.

The condom has to be put on when the penis is erect, and before the penis comes into contact with the vagina, mouth or anus. To use a male condom, do the following:


Purple petal    Take the condom out of the packet, taking care not to tear it.    


Purple petal   Place the condom over the tip of the penis.


Purple petal   If there's a teat on the end of the condom, use your thumb and forefinger to squeeze the air out of it.      


Purple petal   Gently roll the condom down to the base of the penis.      


Purple petal   If the condom won't roll down, you're probably holding it the wrong way round. If this happens, throw the condom away because it may have sperm on it. Try again with a new one.      


Purple petal   After sex, withdraw the penis while it's still erect. Hold the condom on to the base of the penis while the penis is being withdrawn.      


Purple petal   Remove the condom from the penis, and be careful not to spill any semen. Throw the condom away in a bin, not down the toilet.      

Store condoms in places that aren't too hot or cold, and away from sharp or rough surfaces that could tear them or wear them away.

How effective is it?

If used correctly and consistently, male condoms are 98% effective. This means that two out of 100 women using male condoms as contraception will become pregnant in one year.

Always buy condoms that have the CE mark on the packet. This means that they've been tested to the high European safety standards. Condoms that don't have the CE mark won't meet these standards, so don't use them.

Added benefits?

By preventing the exchange of bodily fluids, condoms help to protect against many STIs, including HIV. They come in many different sizes, shapes, colours, textures and flavours, so there will be one that suits you.

What else should I know?

Many people find putting on a condom an enjoyable part of sex and it doesn't feel like an interruption.

If they're not used properly, male condoms can slip off or split. If this happens, practise putting them on so that you get used to using them properly. Or try using different kinds. There are lots of different sizes and shapes to choose from, so you'll be able to find one that suits you best. 

If you're sensitive to latex, latex free condoms can be supplied free throughout CaSH services.

Condoms are freely available from Contraception Clinics. You do not need an appointment to collect condoms, they can be collected whenever the Contraception Clinic is open.  Use the Service Finder to find a clinic that’s most convenient for you.







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