A condom is a male form of birth control that is worn on the penis, made of latex or plastic, and prevents both pregnancy and sexually transmitted diseases and infections (if worn properly).
At A Glance
Condoms can be used with other forms of birth control for extra protection.
They are fairly inexpensive, at $1 each (or oftentimes free).
They can be used for vaginal, anal or oral sex.
They are effective against both pregnancy and STDs.
FAQs About Condoms
How do condoms work?
Condoms work by preventing any pre-cum and semen from entering the vagina, mouth or anus. In doing so, this not only prevents pregnancy, but STDs and infections as well.
Are condoms 100% effective?
There is no form of birth control (except for abstinence) that’s 100% effective. Condoms are no different. Studies show that each year, 2 out of 100 women become pregnant even though they used a condom correctly. That number jumps to 18 out of 100 for people who don’t use them correctly. Pregnancies can decrease significantly if – in addition to using a condom – spermicide is used, and the man pulls out before ejaculation.
What are the advantages of using a condom?
While other forms of contraception are effective in preventing pregnancies, condoms have the added benefit of protecting you from STDs and infections, including HPV, gonorrhea, chlamydia, herpes, and many more.
Other added benefits of condom use include the fact that they don’t require a prescription, may help prevent premature ejaculation, and help to get the male involved in preventing pregnancy and STDs.
Can condoms be used during oral sex?
One of the biggest misconceptions is that oral sex is safe sex. However, STDs and infections can be transmitted fairly easily during oral sex. The use of a condom during oral sex can significantly lower the risk of these infections.
Are there any disadvantages to using condoms?
While the majority of men and women experience no ill effects from using a condom during sex, roughly 6 out of 100 people are allergic to latex, making it uncomfortable (and dangerous) to use latex condoms. Anyone suffering from this type of allergy can use plastic condoms without side effects.
Do condoms make sex less fun?
There are a number of complaints raised against condoms, including:
- Stopping to put on a condom kills the moment
- They may dull the sensation, particularly for the man
- Men have to keep an erection to ensure the condom stays on (In these cases, the use of a female condom would be beneficial, as an erection is not needed.)
However, there are solutions, including getting used to wearing a condom prior to sex. They can be used during sex and before intercourse. There are also various sizes and styles that may be better suited for particular men.