THE MALE CONDOM
THE OLD FAITHFUL.
WRAP IT UP
The male condom is one of the most widely used methods of contraception. It is a thin sheath made of latex or polyurethane that is rolled over the man's erect penis before sex. A reservoir in the tip of the condom catches the sperm, preventing it from reaching the womb and fertilizing an egg. It prevents a pregnancy from occurring, but also protects against STIs. Just like the female condom, it is hormone-free and doesn’t require additional contraceptives to work. But it is important to use a new condom each time you have sex.
Male condoms are available in a variety of shapes, sizes and materials to suit everyone's tastes and sensitivities. Using them is simple – carefully remove the condom from its packaging, pinch the reservoir at the tip, and roll it over the erect penis. After you've had sex, carefully remove the condom – making sure nothing is spilled and there‘s no condom break – and throw it away. Many people prefer to use lubricant with condoms, and it's important to check which lubricant suits the condom's material. For example, oil-based lubricants will cause latex condoms to break more easily, so it pays to be careful.
HOW IT MEASURES UP
CAN A CONDOM BE REUSED?
No. It is not recommended to reuse a condom, even if the man hasn't ejaculated. A new condom should be used each time you have sex.
CAN I USE LUBRICANT WITH CONDOMS?
Yes. Many condoms are already lubricated, but you can always add more as long as the lubricate is water-based or silicone-based. Oil-based lubricants, such as baby oil or petroleum jelly, can weaken latex, so they should not be used. Always check the instructions when using lubricant with a condom.
IS USING TWO CONDOMS BETTER THAN USING ONE?
No. Using two condoms at the same time – either two male condoms, or a male and a female condom – is not recommended as the friction caused when they rub together during sex may cause one or both condoms to tear. If you are concerned about a condom break during sex, or if you want to take extra precautions, it is better to use an additional form of contraception. Using the contraceptive pill, the patch, the ring, or an IUS in addition to a condom will ensure that you are protected from pregnancy, and against sexually transmitted infections.
IS THERE A CONDOM SIZE GUIDE?
Yes, there are many condom size guides available. It’s useful to consult one of these charts to know what size is needed, as this can have an effect on how effective the condom is.
ARE THERE OTHER TYPES OF MALE BIRTH CONTROL?
At present, male birth control methods include condoms, withdrawal and vasectomies. Contraceptive pills and injections that reduce the sperm count are currently being researched and tested.
CAN CONDOMS CAUSE URINARY TRACT INFECTIONS (UTIS)?
Condoms themselves don’t appear to cause UTIs. However, certain lubricants and spermicides have been shown to increase the risk of UTIs.
THE CONDOM BROKE. WHAT SHOULD I DO?
Don’t panic – accidents happen. First, talk to your partner to address any issues. If you’re worried about becoming pregnant, you can take the morning after pill up to 120 hours after intercourse. You may also want to consider getting tested for sexually transmitted infections (STIs).
HAVE MORE QUESTIONS?
Make an appointment with your doctor or nurse today.
WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW
Italian anatomist Gabriello Fallopio’s description of the condom appeared for the first time in history.
You should only ever use a single condom during intercourse, as more than one can cause friction and lead to breakage.
The difference in how much safer sex is when using a condom for HIV prevention.
- It’s self-administered and used on demand.
- It can be used when breastfeeding.
- It’s hormone-free and can be an option for women who experience unwanted effects from hormones.
- Many people find male condoms easy to use.
- It provides protection against HIV/AIDS and other sexually transmitted infections (STIs).
- It must be placed over the erect penis, and may interrupt the spontaneity of sex.
- It can break, tear or come off if not used properly.
- Some people experience allergic reactions to latex condoms.
Is It Okay?
KNOW YOUR OPTIONS
The Hormonal Coil is a small, soft T-shaped plastic frame that releases low levels of a progestin hormone for up to 3 to 6 years. It is given with a prescription and placed in your womb by a doctor or nurse.
The Hormonal Coil is a small, soft T-shaped plastic frame that releases low levels of a progestin hormone for up to 3 to 5 years. It is given with a prescription and placed in your womb by a doctor or nurse.
A small, flexible silicone rod that releases hormones for up to 3 to 5 years. It is given with a prescription and placed under the skin of your upper arm by a doctor or nurse.
A small tablet containing one hormone, or a combined pill containing two hormones, that is self-administered with a prescription and needs to be swallowed at the same time each day.
A shot containing hormone(s) that is given with a prescription and administered by a doctor or nurse every 1 or 3 months.
A small, thin, skin-colored plastic square that sticks to the skin and releases hormones. It is given with a prescription and can be self-administered once a week.
A silicone cup placed in the vagina that prevents sperm from reaching the womb. Though some are fitted by a doctor or nurse, most are self-administered with a prescription up to 24 hours before sex.
A small, flexible ring that is self-administered with a prescription and placed in the vagina, where it releases hormones for 3 weeks.
An internal condom that works in the same way male condoms do, though it is placed in the vagina. It is self-administered and bought over the counter.
A sheath placed over the erect penis to stop sperm from reaching the vagina, it is also the only method that helps lower the risk of STIs. It is self-administered and bought over the counter.
A small, round piece of foam with a nylon loop that is placed in the vagina right before intercourse. It is bought over the counter and is self-administered.
Self-directed methods of avoiding pregnancy that include menstrual cycle tracking and body temperature measurements to identify fertile days.
Creams, films, foams, gels and suppositories that contain chemicals to stop or kill sperm. These are bought over the counter and are self-administered.
Also known as ‘the pull-out method’, this self-directed method involves withdrawing the penis prior to ejaculation to avoid pregnancy.
A medical procedure performed by a doctor or nurse that blocks the tubes carrying sperm.