Condoms (male)

Condoms (male)

About: Male condoms help protect against pregnancy and sexual transmitted infections (STIs). Used correctly, they are 98% effective but in typical use they are 82% effective.

How it works: They help to stop bodily fluids from meeting - such as semen (sperm/cum) or vaginal fluid.

How to use it: They are simple to use with practice and we’ve given some tips below. Make sure you always use good quality condoms with a BSI kite mark or CE mark. Never reuse condoms or use two condoms together. Always use a water-based lubricant with latex condoms.

Who can use it: Most people can safely use a condom. However, men who have difficulty keeping an erection may not be able to use them. If you are allergic to latex, always use a non-latex variety.

Advantages: They protect against STIs and unwanted pregnancy, are suitable for unplanned sex, have no side effects, are easy to get hold of and come in a variety of shapes, sizes and flavours.

Disadvantages: Condoms can tear if not handled carefully, oil-based products can damage them making then non effective (i.e., baby oil) and some people have allergies to latex.

Choose the right size condoms: This video explains how to choose the correct size male condom before you have sex.

How to put a condom on: Watch this NHS video to show you how to put a condom on.

Where to get it: Everyone can get condoms for free, even if you’re under 16. You can get free condoms from sexual health services, contraception clinics, GUM (genitourinary medicine) clinics, some GP surgeries and some young people's services. You can also buy them in lots of places including pharmacies.