Condoms ("rubbers") are made of latex, plastic, or natural membranes. Condoms look like long thin deflated balloons. They prevent body fluids from mixing when two people have sex. The condom is put onto the penis before the penis comes into contact with the vagina, anus, or mouth. Among typical heterosexual couples who initiate use of latex condoms for men, about 14% will experience an accidental pregnancy in the first year. If condoms are used consistently and correctly, about 3% will become pregnant.
Complete information about condoms is available from your clinician or from the package insert.

Advantages and effective use:

Condoms are safe, and they are effective at preventing both infection and pregnancy when used with each act of sex.
Condoms are the best method of preventing infection except for abstaining from sex.
Many men "last longer" when they use condoms. Prolonging sex may make sex more fun.
Condoms come in many colors, sizes, flavors, and styles (for example, with and without ribbing, with and without studs, with and without lubrication or spermicide). Variety is exciting!
Remember: penises and condoms come in different sizes, so find a condom that fits.
Condoms can make sex less messy. After a man comes, his semen stays inside the condom.
Putting on the condom can be a fun, erotic experience if your partner puts the condom on your penis, or you put it on your partner's penis.
If you use a water-based lubricant such as Astroglide, KY Jelly or KY plus Nonoxynol-9, it may decrease the chance of your condom breaking.
To decrease the chance of the condom slipping down the penis or falling off in the vagina or anus, pull the penis out of the vagina or anus right after ejaculation. Don't continue thrusting until the penis becomes soft.
Hold the rim of the condom onto the the penis during withdrawal.
Practice putting a condom onto a banana. Practice makes perfect!

Unless the partner puts it on as a part of foreplay, the condom interrupts sex.
When putting the condom on the penis you must avoid tearing the condom or putting a hole in it with fingernails, a ring, or anything sharp. This includes anything sharp in the mouth.
YOU CANNOT USE OIL-BASED LUBRICANTS such as Vaseline, suntan oil, whipped cream, or Crisco, with latex condoms! These products put a hole in a condom in a matter of seconds.
Some men cannot maintain an erection with a condom on. This does not happen for most men.
The man must pull out soon after ejaculation. If he becomes soft, the condom can fall off and be left in the vagina or anus without the couple knowing that this has happened.
Some people are sensitive or allergic to latex or find the smell very unpleasant. Natural membrane condoms (skin condoms) are slightly less effective at preventing pregnancy and more expensive than latex condoms. However, they may help if either partner is sensitive to latex. Remember that STDs can be transmitted through a skin condom, so skin condoms are only helpful at preventing pregnancy. If allergy to condom use seems to be a problem, check to see if it's actually the latex that's causing the allergic reaction and not the spermicide. Some people are allergic to the spermicide Nonoxynol-9. (Test this by using a non-lubricated condom or a condom with a non-spermicidal lubricant.) If the allergic reaction persists, you may indeed be allergic to latex, although this allergy is less common than an allergy to spermicide. A better alternative to using skin condoms may be to use polyurethane condoms, since these prevent infection as well as pregnancy.
Where do I get condoms?

You can buy condoms from any drugstore and from many supermarkets and gas stations. Some health departments and family planning clinics give away free condoms.


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