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Male Condom

Barrier Method

A condom is a thin film sheath that is placed over a man’s erect penis before having sex.

Male Condom

Every Day

STI protection
Low cost
Easy to use

Details / How to


Condoms are sometimes called a “barrier” method of contraception. They are made of very thin latex (rubber) or similar material.  They prevent pregnancy by stopping sperm from meeting an egg. Condoms are the only type of contraception that can prevent pregnancy and protect against sexually transmitted illnesses (STIs), if used correctly. To be effective, male condoms have to be used every time you have sex. When used correctly, male condoms are approximately 98% effective in preventing pregnancy.”

Some people are allergic to latex, in which case using polyurethane or polyisoprene condoms may help prevent an allergic reaction.


Using a condom can be an enjoyable part of sex and does not have to feel like an interruption. To use it, gently roll the condom down to the base of the erect penis. After sex, take out the penis while it is still erect, making sure to hold the condom on at the base of the penis while you do this, and being careful not to spill any semen. Remove the condom from the penis and throw it away. If you have sex again, use a new condom.

Do not use oil-based lubricants – such as lotion, body oil or petroleum jelly if you are using latex condoms. These can damage the condom and may cause it to split.

Pros / Cons


  • Can be used on demand and are readily available
  • If used correctly, they are 98% effective against pregnancy
  • Protect against STIs if used correctly during vaginal, anal and oral sex.
  • They are available in a variety of shapes, sizes and flavours.



    • Can interrupt sex
    • Can tear or come off during sex if not used correctly
    • Some people are allergic to latex

    There are none, although some people may be allergic to latex

Frequently Asked Questions

Yes. Condoms have been proven to provide protection against sexually transmitted infections (STIs). In fact, condoms are the only contraceptive method that also provides STI protection. Condoms provide different levels of risk reduction for different STIs because infections are spread differently — some are spread by contact with bodily fluids while others are spread by skin to skin contact.

In general, research shows that condoms are most effective in preventing those STIs that are spread by bodily fluids, such as chlamydia, gonorrhea, and HIV. Condoms also can reduce the risk of contracting diseases spread by skin-to-skin contact, such as herpes and human papillomavirus (HPV). However, condoms only can protect against these diseases if the sores are in areas covered by the condom.

There are a range of tests performed by both regulatory agencies and the condom manufacturers. These include electronic testing, the water leak test, the air burst test and the strength test.

Check that the use-by date has not expired, that they carry a standards approval mark (either FDA, ISO, CE or the British Standard Kite Mark), and that they have been properly stored.

As with most barrier methods, it can take a bit of practice to use this method correctly. As long as you are clear on how to use them, you should get the hang of it.

Compared to modern hormonal methods, condoms are less reliable and effective in protecting against pregnancy but they are the only method that will protect against STIs, including HIV/AIDS.

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