Male and female condoms are barrier type methods of contraception and work by stopping sperm meeting an egg.
The male condom fits over a man’s erect penis and is made of very thin latex (rubber) or polyurethane (plastic) and the female condom is made of polyurethane and is put inside the vagina.
There are many different types of male condom to choose from, including regular, large and trim. Some novelty male condoms are designed solely for fun, and should not be used for contraception. Always check for the standard kite mark.
Any condoms can be used for oral sex but, flavoured condoms are a good option because they’re not lubricated and come in a range of flavours.
Standard condoms are suitable for anal sex – there is no indication that stronger or thicker condoms are better or safer.
If a condom splits or you do not use a condom, emergency contraception may be required.