LARC

Condoms


There are two types of condoms (male and female condoms)

Male Condom

What is it?

Male condoms are available in lots of different shapes, sizes and flavours and are made of a very thin latex (rubber) or polyurethane (plastic). Condoms are put over an erect (stiff) penis to stop sperm from entering the vagina.

Remember, when condoms are used correctly and consistently (every time you have sex), they are the only way to protect against STIs and unplanned pregnancy.

Condoms should be used for oral, vaginal and anal sex.

How to use a condom

  • It is important to put the condom on as soon as the penis is erect (stiff) and before there has been any genital contact. Skin-to-skin contact can cause the spread of STIs and pre-ejaculate (pre-cum) contains sperm so there is a risk of pregnancy
  • Take the condom out of the packet, taking care not to tear it (with long nails or rings)
  • If there is a teat at the closed end of the condom, squeeze the air out of it
  • Make sure the condom is not inside out – the roll should be on the outside
  • While still squeezing the teat, place the condom on top of the penis and roll it gently down to the base of your penis
  • If the condom won't roll down, you're probably holding it the wrong way round. If this happens, throw the condom away because it may have sperm on it. Try again with a new one
  • After sex, withdraw the penis while it's still erect (stiff). Hold the condom on to the base of the penis while the penis is being withdrawn
  • Remove the condom from the penis, and be careful not to spill any of the contents
  • Throw the condom away in a bin, not down the toilet

Condom tips

  • Always check for the British Kite Mark, CE mark and expiry date on the packet to make sure it is safe to use. This means that they've been tested to high European safety standards. Condoms that don't have the CE mark and the British Kite Mark won't meet these standards, so don't use them.

  • It is a good idea to practice putting condoms on before having sex so when the time comes you feel confident to use them

How effective is it?

Condoms are 98% effective when used correctly at preventing pregnancy. This means that 2 out of 100 women using male condoms as contraception will become pregnant in a year.

What are the advantages?

  • Condoms are easy to use
  • Condoms help protect both partners from STIs
  • Latex-free condoms are available for people who are allergic to latex

What else should I know?

Condoms may slip off or split if they are not used correctly - if this happens, seek emergency contraception immediately or visit a healthcare professional as soon as possible.

Where can I get condoms?

Find your nearest services using our services page.

Female Condom

What is it?

Female condoms are made from polyurethane. When used correctly during vaginal sex, they help to protect against pregnancy and STIs.

How to use a female condom:

  • Take the female condom out of the packet, taking care not to tear the condom. Squeeze the smaller ring at the closed end of the condom and insert into the vagina
  • Make sure that the large ring at the open end of the female condom covers the area around the vagina
  • Make sure the penis enters into the female condom, not between the condom and the side of the vagina
  • Remove the female condom immediately after sex by gently pulling it out. You can twist the large ring to prevent the contents leaking out. Always make sure you throw the condom away in a bin, not down the toilet

How effective is it?

Female condoms are 95% effective at preventing pregnancy. This means that 5 out of 100 women using female condoms as contraception will become pregnant in a year.

What are the advantages?

Where can I get female condoms?

Find your nearest services using our services page.

Lambeth is part of the pan-London C-Card Scheme which means that young people (aged 13-25) can access condoms for FREE throughout London regardless of where they live. Easy access points (EAPs) are venues where you can access free condoms and sexual health advice. They are easy to spot as they display the C-Card logo:

C-Card

All you have to do is register with an EAP and you will be given a card which you just need to show at each venue and you will be given free condoms.

All EAPs offer male condoms and some offer female condoms and dental dams as well as Chlamydia screening – check out the link to find out which EAP is best for you.

easy access points for condoms


Contacts

You Choose
info@uchooseonline.co.uk

NHS Direct
0845 4647

Sex - Worth Talking About
0800 28 29 30

 Lambeth Teenage Pregnancy and Parenthood Partnership
©2011 NHS Lambeth. Terms & Conditions