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 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
EFFICACY WITH PERFECT USE
Male condoms are self-administered and bought over the counter. When used perfectly, they can be effective methods of hormone-free contraception.View ’Typical’ Use Efficacy Rate
EFFICACY WITH TYPICAL USE
Male condoms are self-administered and bought over the counter. Their efficacy depends on how they are used. Care must be taken when putting a condom on and taking it off, and with the type of lubricant used. Even though we all make mistakes from time to time, the male condom is fairly effective with typical use.View ’Perfect’ Use Efficacy Rate
No. The male condom is hormone-free.
Ease of Use
The male condom needs to be placed over the erect penis prior to intercourse, and a new one must be used each time you have sex.
The male condom has no impact on menstruation.
If you use a condom under water, it is important that it is properly rolled over the erect penis before getting into the water. Also, if the water contains chemicals such as chlorine, or additives such as soap, bath oils or bubble bath, the integrity of the latex may be affected.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Condoms themselves don’t appear to cause UTIs. However, certain lubricants and spermicides have been shown to increase the risk of UTIs.
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.
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.
NEED ADVICE? SPEAK TO YOUR HEALTHCARE PROFESSIONAL
Seek out an appointment with your doctor or nurse for further support that meets your needs.