WHAT ARE CONDOMS?
A condom is a tube made of thin, flexible material. It is closed at one end. Condoms have been used for hundreds of years to prevent pregnancy by keeping a man’s semen out of a woman’s vagina. Condoms also help prevent diseases that are spread by semen or by contact with infected sores in the genital area, including HIV. Most condoms go over a man’s penis. A new type of condom was designed to fit into a woman’s vagina. This “female” condom can also be used to protect the rectum.
WHAT ARE THEY MADE OF?
Condoms used to be made of natural skin (including lambskin) or of rubber. That’s why they are called “rubbers.” Most condoms today are latex or polyurethane. Lambskin condoms can prevent pregnancy. However, they have tiny holes (pores) that are large enough for HIV to get through. Lambskin condoms do not prevent the spread of HIV.
Latex is the most common material for condoms. Viruses cannot get through it. Latex is inexpensive and available in many styles. It has two drawbacks: oils make it fall apart, and some people are allergic to it.
HOW ARE CONDOMS USED?
Condoms can protect you during contact between the penis, mouth, vagina, or rectum. Condoms won’t protect you from HIV or other infections unless you use them correctly.
- Store condoms away from too much heat, cold, or friction. Do not keep them in a wallet or a car glove compartment.
- Check the expiration date. Don’t use outdated condoms.
- Don’t open a condom package with your teeth. Be careful that your fingernails or jewelry don’t tear the condom. Body jewelry in or around your penis or vagina might also tear a condom.
- Use a new condom every time you have sex, or when the penis moves from the rectum to the vagina.
- Check the condom during sex, especially if it feels strange, to make sure it is still in place and unbroken.
- Do not use a male condom and a female condom at the same time.
- Use only water-based lubricants with latex condoms, not oil-based. The oils in Crisco, butter, baby oil, Vaseline or cold cream will make latex fall apart.
- Use unlubricated condoms for oral sex (most lubricants taste awful).
- Do not throw condoms into a toilet. They can clog plumbing.
Polyurethane is an option for people who are allergic to latex. One brand of female condom and one brand of male condom are made of polyurethane.
Instruction for use
- Use Latex Condoms
- Check the expiry date
Heat and friction can damage condoms.
Open the condom package carefully to avoid tearing.
Put the condom on the penis before any genital contacts.
A drop of lubricant inside the tip of the condom will improve sensation.
Pinch the air from the tip of the condom to leave space for the semen/sperm. Air left in the condom tip will cause it to burst.
Unroll the condom right down to the base of the erect penis.
Avoid Vaseline and Oil based products as they may cause the condom to break.
After Cumming, pull out the penis while it is still hard, firmly holding the base of the condom.
Remove the condom, being careful not to spill semen/sperm.
Throw it in the garbage, not the toilet.
Use condom only once.
Reasons to use Condoms
1. Condoms are the only contraceptive that help prevent both pregnancy and the spread of sexually transmitted diseases (including HIV) when used properly and consistently.
2. Condoms are one of the most reliable methods of birth control when use properly and consistently.
3. Condoms have none of the medical side-effects of some other birth control methods may have.
4. Condoms are available in various shapes, colours, flavours, textures and sizes - to increase the fun of making love with condoms.
5. Condoms are widely available in pharmacies, supermarkets and convenience stores. You don't need a prescription or have to visit a doctor.
6. Condoms make sex less messy.
7. Condoms are user friendly. With a little practice, they can also add confidence to the enjoyment of sex.
8. Condoms are only needed when you are having sex unlike some other contraceptives which require you to take or have them all of the time.
Condoms don’t work: Studies show condoms are 80% to 97% effective in preventing HIV transmission if they are used correctly every time you have sex.
Condoms break a lot: Less than 2% of condoms break when they are used correctly: no oils with latex condoms, no double condoms, no outdated condoms.
HIV can get through condoms: HIV cannot get through latex or polyurethane condoms. Don’t use lambskin condoms
THE BOTTOM LINE
When used correctly, condoms are the best way to prevent the spread of HIV during sexual activity. Condoms can protect the mouth, vagina or rectum from HIV-infected semen. They can protect the penis from HIV-infected vaginal fluids and blood in the mouth, vagina, or rectum. They also reduce the risk of spreading other sexually transmitted diseases.
Condoms must be stored, used and disposed of correctly. Male condoms are used on the penis. Female condoms can be used in the vagina or rectum.
For more information, see Condomania’s World of Safer Sex at http://www.condomania.com/ or the FDA’s condom brochure at http://www.fda.gov/oashi/aids/condom.html
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