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Home » Family Planning » Condoms


A condom is a sheath or covering made to fit over a man’s erect penis. It is also called rubbers, sheaths, skins and prophylactics, and known by many different brand names. Most common condoms are made of thin latex rubber. Some condoms are coated with a dry lubricant or with spermicide. Different sizes, shapes, colors and textures maybe available.

Why are Condoms Used?

Condoms help prevent both pregnancy and sexually transmitted diseases (STDs). Used correctly, they keep sperm and any disease organisms in the semen out of the vagina. Condoms also stop any disease causing organisms from entering the penis.

To be highly effective, it must be used correctly every time. Many men do not use condoms correctly or do not use them every time they have sex. Thus, they may risk causing pregnancy, getting STDs, or giving STDs to their partners.

It is somewhat effective for preventing pregnancy as commonly used. 14 pregnancies per 100 women in the first year of use are the rate. However, when correctly used 3 pregnancies per 100 women have been recorded.

Advantages of Using Condoms

» It prevents STDs, HIV/AIDS, as well as pregnancy, when used correctly, with every act of sexual intercourse.

» It helps protect against conditions caused by STDs--- pelvic inflammatory disease, chronic pain and possibly cervical cancer in women, infertility in both men and women.
» Can be used to prevent STD infection during pregnancy.
» Can be used immediately after childbirth.
--- No effect on breast milk (unlike combined oral contraceptives)
--- Protect against infection in the uterus at a time when such infection occurs easily.

» It is safe and has no hormonal side effects.

» Can be used by men of all ages.

» Can be used without seeing a health care provider first.

» Often helps prevent premature ejaculation (helps the man last longer during sex.)

Disadvantages of Condoms

» Latex condoms may cause itching or for a few people who are allergic to latex. In addition, some people maybe allergic to the lubricant on some brands of condoms.

» May decrease sensation, making sex less enjoyable for either partner.

» Couple must take time to put the condom on the erect penis before sex.

» It may be embarrassing for some people to purchase, ask a partner to use, put on take off or throw away condoms.

How to use a condom correctly?

» Check the expiry date on the package of the condom.

» Check to see if there is air in the condom package. If there is no air, there is a good chance that the condom is damaged.

» Do not use your teeth or scissors to open the package. Open the package with care, from the middle.

» Take the condom by the tip. The closed tip should be on the right side. The edge to unroll needs to be on the outside.

» You can put one or two drops of lubricant on the inside of the condom.

» Pinch the closed tip of the condom to let out any air before putting on the condom on the penis.

» If you are not circumcised, pull back the skin that covers the head of the penis until the penis head is well exposed.

» Put the condom on the head of the penis and slowly unroll the condom to the base of the penis.

» Use water-based lubricant on the outside of the condom. This will cause less friction and reduce the risk of the condom breaking.

» After having ejaculated, pull out immediately (slowly). And pay attention so that nothing spills out while you are taking it off.

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