Male Condom

How effective is it?

98 per cent effective if used according to instructions. Two women in 100 will get pregnant in a year.

How does it work?

Made of very thin latex (rubber) or polyurethane (plastic) it is put over the erect penis and stops sperm from entering the vagina.

What are the advantages?

Free from contraception, sexual health clinics, young people’s services, some GP surgeries and sold widely.
Can help protect both partners from some sexually transmitted infections, including HIV.
No medical side-effects.

What are the disadvantages?

Putting it on can interrupt sex.
May slip off or split if not used correctly or is the wrong size or shape.
Man needs to withdraw as soon as he has ejaculated and before the penis goes soft, being careful not to spill any semen.

Anything else I should know?

Must be put on before the penis touches the woman’s genital area.
Oil based products damage latex condoms, but can be used with polyurethane condoms.
Condoms are available in different shapes and sizes to suit everyone.
It is important when you use a condom to use plenty of lubricant, this makes a split condom less likely.

How do I use a male condom?

Always check that the condom is in date and has a BSI Kitemark or CE mark on the condom as this shows that the condom has been properly tested and is safe to use. Check that the condom foil is intact.

Always use your own condom rather than one a customer brings as this may have been damaged.

Be careful when opening the condom not to damage it with sharp fingernails or jewellery.

Put the condom on when the man’s penis is erect before the penis touches your vagina or genital area. Fluid is often released when the man becomes aroused in the early stages of an erection. This fluid may cause pregnancy or pass on an infection. We suggest you put the condom on for customers as this way you can check that it is not tampered with and that it is put on properly.

Hold the condom teat between your thumb and finger making sure the condom is the right way for unrolling. This expels air from the teat, reducing chance of it bursting.

Still holding the end roll the condom all the way down his penis.

If it won’t roll down then it is probably on inside out. If so start again with a new condom as sperm could now be on the first one.

Make sure that the condom stays in place during sex. This can be harder if you are in certain positions, e.g. doggy style (vaginal sex from behind).

As soon as the man has ejaculated and before his penis goes soft, hold the condom in place while he pulls out.

Throw the condom away in a bin. Male condoms should not be flushed down the toilet.


Where can I get them from?

We give out free condoms if we see you in our clinics or at your place of work. You can also get them free from sexual health clinics, some GP surgeries.
You can buy them at some supermarkets, pharmacies, or order them from Pasante.