The most common barrier family planning is the male condom. A male condom is a covering – usually made of thin latex rubber – that unrolls over a man’s erect penis. It prevents a man’s sperm from entering the woman’s vagina. Along with female condoms they are the only form of contraception to protect you against STIs, like HIV, as well as pregnancy. The most important thing is that you use a condom every time you have sex. Condoms come in all shapes, sizes, and for the sensitive, materials, so even with allergies or sensitive skin, there’s a condom to suit you comfortably.
Using a condom is easy; unravel the condom onto an erect penis right before sex. Once it’s all over and the condom has done its job, pull it out before the penis softens. It should be held against the base of the penis as soon as ejaculation has occurred to ensure it does not slip off and to prevent any sperm from escaping as the penis is withdrawn. Use it only once and then throw it away.
It’s important to check what kind of lube is suitable for use with each condom’s material as some can have adverse effects on the material. For example, oil-based lube and latex aren’t friends, and putting them together can cause the condom to break or slip off.
• It can be used on demand
• It can be easily carried with you
• It isn’t affected by other medications
• It can be used when breastfeeding
• Hormone free
• It’s easy to use
• It’s the best protection against HIV/AIDS and other sexually transmitted infections (STIs)
• It interrupts sex
• It can tear or come off during sex if not used properly
• Some people are allergic to latex condoms
• It may lead to irritation or allergic reactions (if you are allergic to latex, you can try condoms made of polyurethane)