A condom is a sheath or covering made to fit over a man’s erect penis. It is also called rubbers, sheaths, skins and prophylactics, and known by many different brand names. Most common condoms are made of thin latex rubber. Some condoms are coated with a dry lubricant or with spermicide. Different sizes, shapes, colors and textures maybe available.
Condoms help prevent both pregnancy and sexually transmitted diseases (STDs). Used correctly, they keep sperm and any disease organisms in the semen out of the vagina. Condoms also stop any disease causing organisms from entering the penis.
To be highly effective, it must be used correctly every time. Many men do not use condoms correctly or do not use them every time they have sex. Thus, they may risk causing pregnancy, getting STDs, or giving STDs to their partners.
It is somewhat effective for preventing pregnancy as commonly used. 14 pregnancies per 100 women in the first year of use are the rate. However, when correctly used 3 pregnancies per 100 women have been recorded.
- It prevents STDs, HIV/AIDS, as well as pregnancy, when used correctly, with every act of sexual intercourse.
- It helps protect against conditions caused by STDs--- pelvic inflammatory disease, chronic pain and possibly cervical cancer in women, infertility in both men and women.
- Can be used to prevent STD infection during pregnancy.
- Can be used immediately after childbirth.
--- No effect on breast milk (unlike combined oral contraceptives)
--- Protect against infection in the uterus at a time when such infection occurs easily.
- It is safe and has no hormonal side effects.
- Can be used by men of all ages.
- Can be used without seeing a health care provider first.
- Often helps prevent premature ejaculation (helps the man last longer during sex.)
- Latex condoms may cause itching or for a few people who are allergic to latex. In addition, some people maybe allergic to the lubricant on some brands of condoms.
- May decrease sensation, making sex less enjoyable for either partner.
- Couple must take time to put the condom on the erect penis before sex.
- It may be embarrassing for some people to purchase, ask a partner to use, put on take off or throw away condoms.
- Condoms protect against pregnancy as well as sexually transmitted diseases (STDs), including HIV/AIDS.
- Condoms work well when used correctly with every act of sexual intercourse. However, a condom cannot work when it is not used. Have a condom before you need it, and be sure to use it.
- Condoms seldom break if properly used.