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?
- Easily available.
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 other sexual health clinics, some GP surgeries or
buy them at supermarkets, pharmacies, or order from Pasante.
- Can help protect both partners from some sexually transmitted infections, including HIV.
- Condoms are available in different sizes and flavours for oral sex.
- No serious side-effects.
What are the disadvantages?
- May slip off or split.
- Man has to pull out after he has ejaculated and before his penis goes soft, holding the condom firmly in place.
- Oil based products such as massage oils or body lotions can damage latex condoms.
How do I use a male condom?
Use a new male condom every time you have sex.
- Check the condom 'use by' date on the packet and that it has a British Standard Institution (BSI) kitemark or the European CE symbol on it. This shows that the condom has been properly tested and is safe to use.
- Check that the condom foil is intact.
- Be careful when opening the condom not to damage it with sharp fingernails or jewellery.
- Find the teat or closed end and squeeze it between your thumb and finger to get rid of the air, this will help you roll the condom on the right way round. Expelling the air from the teat reduces the chance of it bursting.
- Put the condom on when the man’s penis is erect before his 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 pass on an infection or cause pregnancy).
- Still holding the end, roll the condom all the way down his penis.
- If the condom will not unroll it is probably on inside out - start again with a new condom as sperm could now be on the first one.
- 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.
- 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 firmly in place while he pulls out.
- Take off the condom and throw it in a bin, do not flush down the toilet.