Both male and female condoms, are the only methods of contraception that prevent STIs.

The male condom is a fine latex or polyurethane sheath, worn on the erect penis. It can be used with a water-based lubricant that may be useful for women experiencing vaginal dryness.

  • A thin sheath (usually made of latex, a type of rubber) worn on the penis to prevent pregnancy and sexually transmissible infections
  • Can be used with another method of contraception for extra protection against pregnancy
  • Safe and effective
  • Easy to get without prescription
  • Must be used for every sexual encounter

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How do condoms work?

Condoms prevent the sperm and egg meeting by providing a physical barrier between them. They also stop body fluids from passing between sexual partners.

How effective are male condoms?

  • Condom effectiveness depends on the motivation, skill level, and experience of the user.
  • A new condom must be placed on the penis before any genital contact; it must remain intact until the penis is withdrawn, and a new one should be used each time you have sex.
  • In typical use, it is estimated that 18 women in 100 will become pregnant in a year.

What are the advantages of male condoms?

  • Help protect women and men against sexually transmissible infections (STIs).
  • Regular condom use reduces the risk of STIs.
  • Readily available from supermarkets, pharmacies and vending machines at low cost
  • No significant medical risks or side effects

What are the disadvantages of male condoms?

  • The interruption to sexual activity can be a concern for some people
  • Breakages can occur or it could slip off
  • A small number of people are sensitive to latex, spermicide or lubricant
  • Some people complain of reduced sensitivity during sexual intercourse

What if a condom breaks or slips?

Emergency contraception can be used to prevent pregnancy and it is a good idea to have a sexual health check-up for STIs.

Are condoms right for everyone?

The majority of men can use male condoms. A few men may have a latex allergy. Men who experience difficulty getting or maintaining an erection will find it difficult to use a condom.