In a nutshell:
- Your only protection against STIs and HIV besides abstinence from sex
- Thin latex or polyurethane covering for the penis that collects sperm
- It’s cheap
- Easy to put on and easy to dispose of
- Very accessible
- With typical use, condoms are 85% effective; 98% if used correctly
- Only for ONE time use
What is it?
Condoms are thin protective pouches that are slipped over a guy’s penis before sexual intercourse to keep sperm from getting into the vagina. It is usually made of latex, a type of rubber. But some are made of materials that are safe for people with latex allergies, such as polyurethane or polyisoprene, and lambskin. In the Philippines, the most commonly available condom is a latex condom.
Condoms are some of the best protection against sexually transmitted infections (STIs)/ HIV and unwanted pregnancy. In fact, it’s your only protection against STIs other than abstaining from sex. They come in a variety of colors, textures, and even flavors for every individual’s preference.
Condoms can be easily bought from drug stores, supermarkets, convenience stores, leading online stores, etc.
How does it work?
Condoms are known as a barrier contraceptive because they stop sperm from reaching an egg by creating a physical barrier between them. Condoms can also protect against STIs if used correctly during vaginal, anal and oral sex. It’s pretty simple—once the male condom is slipped over a guy’s penis, it catches any sperm he releases.
It’s important that the man’s penis does not make contact with the woman’s vagina before a condom has been put on. This is because semen can come out of the penis before a man has fully ejaculated. If this happens, or if semen leaks into the vagina while using a condom, seek professional advice about other contraceptive options. You can find other contraceptive options at most drugstores.
How do I use it?
To put on a condom correctly, follow the steps below.
Check the expiry date. You don’t want to use an expired condom that may break.
Open the packet carefully; don’t use your teeth or any other sharp items to open the condom wrapper as you don’t want to tear the condom. Optional: add a small drop or two of water-based lubricant to the inside of the condom. Using a tiny bit of lubricant on the inside of a condom can make sex feel better and make breakage less likely.
Hold the tip of the condom to remove any air, then roll it down to the base of the erect penis. Make sure the condom isn’t inside out before attempting to roll it on. If it is, the best thing to do here is to grab another one and start again.
Put a small amount of water-based lubricant on the outside of the condom. This will also reduce the risk of the condom breaking and even increase pleasure. Do not use oil-based lubricants such as baby oil; these can cause the condom to break.
To take off a condom safely, use the steps below:
After sex, withdraw the penis while it’s still erect – hold the condom onto the base of the penis while you do this.
Remove the condom from the penis, being careful not to spill any semen.
Either wrap the condom in a tissue or tie a knot around the top to prevent leakage. Throw the condom away in a bin, not down the toilet.
*Note: After sex, make sure the penis does not touch your partner’s genital area again. Make sure to use a new condom each and every time you have sex.
Why you should use it
- Protects against STIs
- Can make sex last longer
- Is easy to carry
- Relatively easy to use
- No visit to a health care professional required
- Widely available
What people complain about
- Some people are allergic to latex. If so, there are polyurethane and lambskin condoms available, but may be difficult to find in the Philippines.
- It can be hard to remember in the moment.
- It can be uncomfortable or break if not used properly. However, this is easily avoidable with enough lubricant and using a condom that works for you. Remember, there are many choices of sizes, textures, and flavors.
- Some guys complain that condoms reduce sensitivity