Definition of Condoms:
Also Known As:
Rubbers, Prophylactics, Safes, Protection, and Jimmies
How Condoms Work:
Advantages of Male Condoms:
- Convenient and easy to obtain
- Do not require a prescription
- Can be used with other methods
- Are lightweight
- Are disposable
- Help in preventing pregnancy and sexually transmitted infections
Positive Medical Side Effects of Condoms:
- Prevent sperm from touching the tissues in a woman's vagina. This may lower the chances that her body will produce antibodies against the sperm (This is one of the causes of infertility).
- Help relieve premature ejaculation and may help a man stay erect longer. Because condoms compress the outer veins of the penis, they can be helpful for men who have difficulty maintaining an erection.
Disadvantages of Male Condoms:
- Some men and women feel that the condom dulls sensation
- A few men are unable to maintain an erection after putting on condoms
- Some sexual excitement may be lost when sex play must be interrupted to put on a condom
- Friction caused by condoms may reduce female stimulation which can make sex less enjoyable or even uncomfortable. Using lubricated condoms may avoid this issue
- Some men are self-conscious about using condoms
- Intercourse may be less enjoyable since the man must withdraw his penis immediately after ejaculation
- A man may feel pressure to maintain an erection in order to keep the condom on
- The woman cannot feel the warm fluid entering her body - some women care about this, some do not
- Pre-planning is required (to have condoms ready in anticipation of having intercourse)
- 1-2% of women and men are allergic to latex condoms. If this is the case, the couple can use polyurethane condoms, non-latex condoms or lambskin (natural) condoms.
Where To Buy Male Condoms and Costs of Condoms:
One condom may cost $.50 or less. In some states, Medicaid will cover the cost of condoms bought at a clinic or doctor’s office.
- Condoms deteriorate with age
- If properly stored, they'll be effective until the expiration date printed on the condom's wrapper.
- Don't "double-bag" condoms (using 2 condoms at the same time).
- Condoms come in various lengths, widths, and thickness, so a man should try different condom brands and styles to find out which fits best. Most packages do not indicate size.
- The materials/chemicals in your condoms could affect your health. It may be good to find out what is in your condoms, but sometimes this can be difficult because condom packages don't readily display this information.
- Use only water based lubricants intended for use with condoms (KY, Astroglide, etc). Any oil based or petroleum based producta will compromise the safety of condoms
- Colored or tinted
- Transparent or opaque
- Dry or powdered
- Ribbed, studded, contoured or textured
- Lubricated — with spermicide or without
- Non lubricated
Where To Store Condoms:
Condoms should be kept in a cool and dry place and handled gently. They should not be exposed to heat, light, air, or sunlight for long periods of time. This means that condoms should not be stored in a glove compartment or carried in a wallet or back pocket (unless planning on using that day). The friction caused by opening and closing a wallet and from walking may cause tiny holes to develop in the condom.
If the condom seems discolored, brittle, or sticky, it may be past the expiration date and more likely to break.
Effectiveness:Condoms are 85-98% effective. This means that with typical use, about 15 out of every 100 women whose partners use condoms will become pregnant during the first year. With perfect use, 2 will become pregnant.
To be most effective, condoms should be put on before the penis comes into contact with or enters the vagina and should must be carefully removed immediately after ejaculation. Also, semen should not come into contact with the vagina as the condom is being removed.
The effectiveness of condoms is compromised when:
- The condom ruptures due to manufacturing defects (rare) or user error
- Semen leaks from a condom during withdrawal
- The penis comes into contact with vagina before the condom is on, so the condom is not put on early enough.
STD Protection:Condoms help reduce the risk of sexually transmitted infections, including:vaginitis caused by trichomoniasis or changes in the pH balance of the vagina that can be triggered by semen.
Condoms provide protection from sexually transmitted diseases to both partners during anal and oral sex.
Multiple, daily use of the spermicide nonoxynol-9 may also increase the chance of HIV transmission because it may irritate body tissue.
Also know that only latex condoms, non latex condoms and polyurethane condoms effectively prevent the spread of viral infections, such as HIV. Condoms made of natural animal membranes may have tiny pores that infection organisms can pass through even though sperm cannot.