Please explore the following sections for more information:
If 100 sexually active women don’t use any contraception, 80 to 90 will become pregnant in a year.
Male condom – If used according to instructions it is 98 per cent effective. This means that two women in 100 will get pregnant in a year.
Female condom – If used according to instructions it is 95 per cent effective. This means that five women in 100 will get pregnant in a year.
You will find instructions on the condom packet or in a leaflet inside the pack.
You can also be shown a condom teach / demonstration when collecting condoms from sexual health clinics and on registration for the C-Card
If you have any problems using condoms it is a good idea to discuss with your health professional.
- Use a new condom each time you have sex. Always check the ‘use by’ date on the packet.
- Be careful taking the condom out of the packet –fingernails and jewellery can tear the condom.
- Find the teat or closed end and squeeze it to get rid of air. This will also help you roll the condom on the right way round.
- Put the condom on when the penis is fully erect and before it touches the vagina or genital area.
- Still holding the end, roll the condom all the way down the penis. It should roll down easily, if not it’s probably on inside out, so, start again with a new condom.
- If you have foreskin, you may find it easier and more comfortable to put the condom on if the foreskin is pulled back. This lets the foreskin move freely and reduces the risk of the condom tearing or slipping off.
- As soon as the man has ejaculated, and before the penis goes soft, hold the condom firmly in place while pulling out. Do this slowly and carefully so you do not spill any semen (the ejaculation fluid that contains sperm).
- Take off the condom, wrap it and put it in a bin. Do not put it down the toilet.
- Make sure the penis does not touch the genital area again, and if you have sex again, use a new condom
Instructions are on the packet.
- Use a new condom every time you have sex .Always check the ‘use by’ date on the packet.
- You can put the condom in any time before sex, but always before the penis touches the vagina or genital area. You can put the condom in when you are lying down, squatting or with one leg on a chair. Find the position that suits you best.
- Be careful how you take the condom out of the packet –fingernails and jewellery can tear the condom.
- Hold the closed end of the condom and squeeze the inner ring between your thumb and middle finger. Keeping your index finger on the inner ring helps you to insert the condom into the vagina.
- With your other hand, separate the labia (folds of skin) around your vagina. Put the squeezed ring into the vagina and push it up as far as you can.
- Now put your index or middle finger, or both, inside the open end of the condom, until you can feel the inner ring. Push the inner ring as far back into the vagina as it will go. It will then be lying just above your pubic bone. (You can feel your pubic bone by inserting your index or middle finger into your vagina and curving it forward slightly.)
- Make sure that the outer ring lies close against the area outside your vagina (vulva).
- It is a good idea to guide the penis into the condom to make sure it does not enter the vagina outside the condom. Holding the outer ring in place, outside the vagina, also helps to stop the entire condom being accidentally pushed right into the vagina
- As the female condom is loose-fitting, it will move during sex. But you will still be protected as long as the penis stays inside the condom.
- To remove the condom, simply twist the outer ring to keep the semen inside. Then pull the condom out gently.
- Wrap the condom and put it in a bin. Do not put it down the toilet.
- Make sure the penis does not touch the genital area again, and if you have sex again, use a new condom.
- You only need to use them when you have sex.
- There are no serious side-effects from using condoms.
- Male condoms come in a variety of shapes and sizes.
- Male condoms are easily available.
- A female condom can be put in any time before sex.
- A male condom can sometimes slip off or split, emergency contraception will be required.
- Some people are sensitive to latex condoms, though this is rare.
- When using a male condom, the man has to pull out after he has ejaculated, and before the penis goes soft, holding the condom firmly in place.
- When using a female condom, you need to make sure the penis is in the condom and not between the condom and vagina and that the open end of the condom stays outside the vagina.
- Female condoms can slip out or get pushed into the vagina.
Do not use oil-based products such as body oils, creams, lotions or petroleum jelly with male latex condoms, they can damage the latex and make the condom more likely to split.
Some ointments damage latex condoms, making them more likely to split. If you are using creams, pessaries or suppositories in the genital area for example thrush treatments– ask your doctor, nurse or pharmacist if it will affect latex condoms.
It’s very important that you use extra lubrication for anal sex to reduce the risk of the condom breaking.