What are condoms?
Male condoms are made from very thin latex, or for people who are sensitive to latex polyurethane. They are worn over the erect penis to hold the sperm, to reduce the risk of pregnancy or STI’s They comes in all sorts of different types, there are textured condoms to increase sensation for both of you. Fun flavoured condoms to make to make oral sex not only safe but more enjoyable to. There are condoms that containing numbing cream (benzocaine) which can prolong sex. One size doesn’t fit all so condoms even come in different sizes.
It’s a good idea to find the perfect condom and know how to use it effectively before you decide to have sex, then at least that’s one less thing to worry about. Girls like confident guys so become a confident condom user.
Why do condoms have an expiry date?
Condoms unlike the effect of some sexually transmitted infection don’t last forever. There have an expiry date on them so you can be confidant if it’s within date it’s safe to use. Don’t use it if it’s out of date as there is a greater possibility of it splitting.
Also check your condom carries the symbol then you know your condom has been thoroughly tested and it safe to use.
How do condoms work?
When a man has an orgasm, millions of sperm are released from his penis. The sperm and ejaculate fluid can cause pregnancy and the spread of STI’s.
A condom works by collecting all these sperm. It provides a barrier between them and the girl's vagina, stopping the sperm from reaching an egg or any infections being passed on to one another. If the sperm stays in the condom it cannot cause pregnancy or pass on an infection.
Condoms are 98% effective. This means that for one hundred girls using condoms, only two will get pregnant each year.
How do I use one?
Note: If a condoms has been put on the wrong way (inside out) do not use, discard. Pre-cum from the tip of the penis will be on the condom, this could cause a STI or pregnancy.
Lubricants and Condoms
When using condoms it’s essential that you use water based lubricants. Lubricants can enhance pleasure and help prevent condom failure. Friction can be a cause of condom failure, the more lubricants you use the less likely the condom is to fail especially if partners are engaging in anal sex.
Water based lubricants which are safe to use:
Oil based lubricants such as; baby oil, petroleum jell e.g. Vaseline, chocolate body paint, suntan lotion, lipsticks massaging or aromatherapy oils can weaken latex causing the condom to tear and break.
What to do if a condom fails
Remember, no method is 100% effective!
If you realize that your condom broke or tore during condom use (or if it slipped off), your partner has the option to use the emergency contraception (morning after pill) to prevent an unintended pregnancy. The sooner the emergency contraception is taken, the more effective it is. The EC (emergency contraception) is available Free from Contraception Step-In clinics, Brook, GP’s, and most pharmacist’s, you must check if going to a pharmacist that there is a pharmacist who can issue the EC for free.
If your condom fails and you think you may have put yourself at risk of exposure to the HIV virus talk to Specialist HIV services or GUM Services about Post-Exposure Prophylaxis (PEP)
PEP may stop you developing an HIV infection if you’ve been exposed to the virus. However, it doesn’t always work.
You may have been exposed to HIV if you've:
- had unprotected sex (without using a condom)
- had sex with someone with HIV and the condom broke
- been injured with an HIV-infected needle
Where do I get Condoms from?
You can get Free condoms from condom distribution schemes like wrapped if you are under 25. Condoms are also available for free to under 25s at all of our CaSH clinics and to people of all ages within Blackburn with Darwe (you do not need an appointment). Condoms are also available from most GPs and are available to buy at all pharmacies and a variety of other locations.