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Condoms

(con-dums)

Condoms are an inexpensive, effective, and accessible form of birth control. Condoms are typically made out of either natural rubber latex or polyurethane (Plastic). Polyurethane condoms are great for people who have allergies to latex. Unlike other forms of birth control condoms are also effective at protecting people from STIs (STDs). There are condoms that are made to go over the penis (Male Condoms). And condoms that are made to be inserted into the vagina (Female Condoms) and BOTH are effective at preventing unintended pregnancies and protecting against STIs if used properly.

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Male Condoms

The male condom is a barrier (most commonly made of latex) that is placed over the erect penis. Male condoms reduce the likelihood of pregnancy and the spread of sexually transmitted diseases (STDs). Male condoms have been around for over 400 years and are currently the most popular form of birth control.

How does it work?

The male condom reduces pregnancy and the spread of STDs by catching the semen after ejaculation. Using a condom during a sex act prevents the semen, which is a body fluid, from entering his partner.

How effective is it?

The male condom is effective at preventing pregnancy about 82-90% of the time depending on the age and typical use of condom by the user. If the user uses condoms correctly and every time during sex, it will prevent pregnancy at 97%.

The male condom is effective at reducing STD infections rates and highly recommended by the National Institute of Health and the Center for Disease Control to be used correctly and consistently with each sex act. When used correctly and consistently with every sex act, the male condom can prevent HIV transmission at 85%. It is important to remember with the other STDs that the condom only covers a portion of the genitals and will only reduce risk, not completely take the risk away.

How do I use it?

First make sure the condom you are using hasn’t expired. Be careful not to tear the condom when opening. Place the condom against the tip of the penis leaving space by pinching the tip of the condom to hold the ejaculate. The rolled ring should be on the outside of the condom. If the penis is uncircumcised pull the foreskin back before putting on the condom. If the condom breaks or falls off before ejaculation, stop the sex act and put on a new condom. Remember, one condom per sex act. If the condom breaks or slips off, remind your partner to get emergency contraception if pregnancy is a concern. After the sex act, dispose of used condom in trash can.

Male Condom

How do I get it?

Condoms are provided free in quantities of ten in the CDHD reproductive health clinics. They are also available for purchase in grocery stores, gas stations and even vending machines in some bathrooms.

How do I know if this is the right method for me?

Condoms are a great method for any person who wants to reduce the likelihood of pregnancy and prevent the spread of STDs. This method is inexpensive, easy to use, has few side effects and has a high percentage of working to prevent pregnancy and STDs. The more the user practices using condoms the better the user will be, and they will increase the prevention of both pregnancy and STDs.

Tips

  • Use condom only once.
  • Be careful not to tear condom when putting it on with fingernails or jewelry.
  • Do not carry condoms in wallet for long periods of time, it will increase breakage rates.
  • Store condoms in a cool, dry place away from sun and heat.
  • If condom package is damaged, do not use.
  • Make sure you have condoms available and convenient for use.

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Female Condoms

The “female condom” (or the “reality Condom” as it is known by some) is a barrier pouch with two rings at each end (most commonly made of polyurethane) that is worn internally and used during vaginal sex or receptive anal sex. Female condoms reduce the likelihood of pregnancy and the spread of sexually transmitted diseases (STDs). This condom has been around since 1988.

How does it work?

The condom reduces pregnancy and the spread of STDs by creating a barrier between the person wearing the condom and the penis that is inserted. The condom is inserted into the vagina or anus. It will catch semen during ejaculation and prevent the wearer from coming into contact with the body fluid during the sex act.

How effective is it?

This condom has been shown to prevent pregnancy 75% of the time in typical use.

This condom hasn’t been tested to determine its effectiveness at reducing STD infection rates. It is estimated that it protects from STDs at the same rates as it prevents pregnancy. However, it is theorized that they show more protection with skin to skin transmitted STDs such as Herpes and HPV since they cover more skin area than the male condom.

How do I use it?

First make sure the condom you are using hasn’t expired. Be careful not to tear the condom when opening. At the closed end of the condom, squeeze the flexible inner ring with forefinger and thumb so the ring becomes long and narrow. Insert that ring into the vagina for vaginal sex or the rectum for anal sex. With index finger push the inner ring into the vagina or rectum. When it is fully inserted, the outer ring should be outside the vagina or anus. To remove, twist the outer ring one time to lock in any fluids and gently pull the condom out. Dispose in trash.

Female Condom

How do I get it?

These condoms are available for purchase typically in pharmacies and grocery stores. They are typically 2-3 times more expensive than male condoms.

How do I know if this is the right method for me?

This condom is a great method for any person who wants to reduce the likelihood of pregnancy and prevent the spread of STDs. Since this condom cannot be used at the same time as a male condom, it is generally the method used when the other partner would prefer to not wear a male condom.

Tips

  • Use condom only once.
  • Be careful not to tear condom when putting it on with fingernails or jewelry.
  • Do not carry condoms in wallet for long periods of time, it will increase breakage rates.
  • Store condoms in a cool, dry place away from sun and heat.
  • If condom package is damaged, do not use.
  • Do NOT use with a male condom.

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Ejaculation: release of semen from penis
Sex act: vaginal, anal or oral sex
Semen: thick, white fluid from penis during orgasm
Genitals: external sex organs on males and females
Ejaculate: ejected semen
Uncircumsized: foreskin intact.
Foreskin: double layer of skin that covers penis head
Vaginal sex: penis inserted into vagina
Skin-to-skin transmission: genital skin coming into contact with genital skin of partner
Vagina: a muscular tube forming the passage from the vulva to the cervix
Rectum: the last part of the digestive tract, from the colon to the anus. This is where feces are stored before leaving the body