Condoms and Contraception

condoms-and-contraceptionsCONDOMS:
This is a barrier device, usually made of latex. This is used during sexual intercourse to prevent pregnancy and spread or contact any sexually transmitted disease from one partner to the other. Most people think that condom is only a male’s device. But, the female condom is also available in the market. (Femdom, Confidom etc).

Male and female condoms are barrier methods of contraception. They stop sperm meeting an egg.
A male condom fits over a man’s erect penis and is made of very thin latex (rubber) or polyurethane (plastic).

A female condom is made of very thin polyurethane. It is put into the vagina and loosely lines it.

How effective are condoms?
How effective any contraceptive is depends on how old you are, how often you have sex and whether you follow the instructions. If 100 sexually active women don’t use any contraception, 80 to 90 will become pregnant in a year.

Male condom – If used according to instructions it is 98 per cent effective. This means that two women in 100 will get pregnant in a year. If it is not used according to instructions, more women will become pregnant.
Female condom – If used according to instructions it is 95 per cent effective. This means that five women in 100 will get pregnant in a year. If it is not used according to instructions, more women will become pregnant.

Some novelty condoms are designed purely for fun and should not be used for contraception. It will say so on the packet, so check before you use them.

Can anything make condoms less effective?
Sperm can get into the vagina during sex, even if you use a condom. This may happen if:

  • the penis touches the area around the vagina before a condom is put on (pre-ejaculation fluid, which leaks out of the penis before ejaculation, may contain sperm)
  • the condom splits
  • the male condom slips off
  • the female condom gets pushed too far into the vagina
  • the man’s penis enters the vagina outside the female condom by mistake
  • the condom gets damaged, for example by sharp fingernails or jewellery
  • you use oil-based products (such as baby lotions) with latex condoms. These damage the condoms.
    If any of these happen, or if you have had sex without using contraception, you can get advice about emergency contraception.

condomWhat are the advantages of condoms

  • You only need to use them when you have sex.
  • They help to protect both partners from some sexually transmitted infections, including HIV.
  • There are no medical side-effects from using condoms.
  • Male condoms come in a variety of types, shapes and sizes to suit everyone.
  • Male condoms are easily available.
  • A female condom can be put in any time before sex.

What are the disadvantages of condoms?

  • Putting them on can interrupt sex.
  • A male condom can sometimes slip off or split.
  • Some people are sensitive to the chemicals in latex condoms, though this is rare.
  • When using a male condom, the man has to pull out after he has ejaculated, and before the penis goes soft, holding the condom firmly in place.
  • When using a female condom, you need to make sure the man’s penis enters the condom and not between the condom and the vagina and that the open end of the condom stays outside the vagina.

Can anyone use condoms?
Yes, male and female condoms are suitable for most people. Some men and women are sensitive to the chemicals in latex male condoms. If this is a problem you can use polyurethane condoms. Men who do not always keep their erection during sex may find it difficult to use a male condom. Female condoms may not be suitable for women who do not feel comfortable touching their genital area.

The male condom or the female condom?
You and your partner can choose the condom which suits you best. Why not try each of them before making up your mind? You may decide sometimes to use a male condom and other times a female condom.
Male Condom<strong>How do I use a male condom?
You will find instructions on the condom packet or in a leaflet inside the pack. You can also ask your doctor, nurse or pharmacist.
Use a new condom each time you have sex. Check the ‘expiry date’ on the packet.
Be careful how you take the condom out of the packet — sharp fingernails and jewelry can tear the condom.

  • Find the teat or closed end and squeeze it to get rid of air. This will also help you roll the condom on the right way round.
  • Put the condom on when the penis is fully erect and before it touches the vagina or genital area.
  • Still holding the end, roll the condom all the way down the penis. If it won’t roll down then it’s probably on inside out. If so, start again with a new condom as sperm could now be on the first one.
  • As soon as the man has ejaculated, and before the penis goes soft, hold the condom firmly in place while pulling out. Do this slowly and carefully so you do not spill any semen.
  • Take off the condom, wrap it and put it in a bin. Do not put it down the toilet. Make sure the man’s penis does not touch the genital area again, and if you have sex again, use a new condom.

Male CondomHow do I use a female condom?
The packet contains a leaflet giving instructions.
Use a new condom every time you have sex. Check the ‘expiry date’ on the packet.
You can put the condom in any time before sex but always before the penis touches the vagina or genital area. You can put the condom in when you are lying down, squatting or with one leg on a chair. Find the position that suits you best. Be careful how you take the condom out of the packet — sharp fingernails and jewellery can tear the condom.

  • Hold the closed end of the condom and squeeze the inner ring between your thumb and middle finger. Keeping your index finger on the inner ring helps you to insert the condom into the vagina.
  • With your other hand, separate the folds of skin (labia) around your vagina.
  • Then put the squeezed ring into the vagina and push it up as far as you can.
  • Now put your index or middle finger, or both, inside the open end of the condom, until you can feel the inner ring.
  • Then push the inner ring as far back into the vagina as it will go. It will then be lying just above your pubic bone. (You can feel your pubic bone by inserting your index or middle finger into your vagina and curving it forward slightly.)
  • Make sure that the outer ring lies close against the area outside your vagina (vulva).
  • It is a good idea for the woman or man to guide the man’s penis into the condom to make sure it does not enter the vagina outside the condom. Holding the outer ring in place, outside the vagina, also helps to stop the entire condom being accidentally pushed right into the vagina. As the female condom is loose-fitting, it will move during sex. But you will still be protected as long as the penis stays inside the condom.
  • To remove the condom, simply twist the outer ring to keep the semen inside. Then pull the condom out gently.
  • Wrap the condom and put in a bin. Do not put it down the toilet. Make sure the man’s penis does not touch the genital area again, and if you have sex again, use a new condom.

Where should I keep condoms?
Always keep packets of condoms and individual condoms where they cannot be damaged by strong heat, sharp objects, light or damp.

Emergency contraception
If you have had sex without using contraception or think your method might have failed there are two emergency methods you can use.

  • The emergency hormonal pill – must be taken up to three days (72 hours) after sex. It is more effective, the earlier it is taken after sex.
  • An IUD – must be fitted up to five days after sex, or up to five days after the earliest time you could have released an egg (ovulation).

Ask your doctor or nurse about getting emergency pills in advance, just in case you need them.

Sexually transmitted infections

Most methods of contraception do not protect you from sexually transmitted infections.
Male and female condoms, when used correctly and consistently, can help protect against sexually transmitted infections. Diaphragms and caps may also protect against some sexually transmitted infections. If you can, avoid using condoms containing Nonoxinol 9 (spermicidally lubricated), as this does not protect against HIV and may even increase the risk of infection.