Althealth

Sexual problems - Condom

Condom

If you have sex, you should protect yourself and your partner against STDs (sexually transmitted diseases). Recent studies have shown that latex condoms work very well to protect against STDs including HIV. Condoms help to stop the spread of disease when they are used every time, the right way. What does "every time mean
Use a new condom each time you have vaginal, anal or oral sex. Check the date on the package to make sure it's not too old, and open it carefully.

What does the "right way mean"

  1. pinch the end of the condom to leave a half-inch of space for semen to fill after you ejaculate (come). If you do not pinch the tip, the condom could break.
  2. put the condom on the penis after it becomes erect but before it enters the body. If you are uncircumcised, pull the foreskin back before putting on the condom.
  3. Unroll the condom down the penis, all the way to the base.
  4. If the condom breaks during sex, stop and put on a new one right away.
  5. After coming, while the penis is. still erect, hold the condom rim firmly onto the base while pulling out.
  6. Remove the condom carefully so no semen is spilled.

Store condoms in a cool, dry place away from direct sunlight. Don't keep them in your wallet or car because latex can become brittle or gummy if it gets too hot, too cold or too old. Never use a condom if it, or its package, is damaged, discolored, sticky or brittle.

Why are some condoms dry

Dry condoms are usually preferred for oral sex. (Lipstick and lip balm are oil-based, so make sure they don't get on the condom). Lubricated condoms are best for vaginal and anal sex. If you are having vaginal or anal sex with a dry condom, use only water-based lubricants like K-Y jelly, Gyne-Moistrin, Astroglide, or Lubricating Gel, to name just a few.* Some foams and jellies that prevent pregnancy by killing sperm are also good lubricants. Read the label before you buy; any lubricants that contain oil should not be used with condoms. Never use any kind of oil, petroleum jelly or hand lotion with condoms; these can make condoms break.

*These products are named only because they are sold in local stores. They are not endorsed by the Department of public Health.

Do condoms often fail to prevent pregnancy

No. When couples use condoms every time, the right way, only 2 out of 100 (2%) women will get pregnant in a year. If you want even better protection, use a lubricant that kills sperm. Nonoxynol-9 kills both sperm and HIV ( the AIDS virus).

Can condoms prevent the spread of HIV

Yes. Studies prove that sperm and germs, including HIV, cannot get through latex condoms unless they break.

Do condoms break often

No. Condoms rarely break and then usually because they were used the wrong way. The most common reasons for breaking are use of old (out-of-date) condoms, rips by fingernails or jewelry, being left in the sun (or getting too hot some other way), using a condom more than once, unrolling the condom before putting it on, or using oil-based lubricants. Oil can destroy the condom's strength in just 60 seconds.

Are condoms tested

Yes, condoms are put through tough tests for holes before they are sold. If more than 4 in 1,000 (0.4%) leak, by U.S. law the entire production lot must be destroyed.

What is the female condom

The female condom is a plastic sheath with plastic rings at both ends. The closed end of the sheath is put into the vagina, where one ring holds it in place. The other ring at the open end is left outside the woman's body.

How well does it work

It helps prevent pregnancy. The female condom is new, so how well it protects against STDs and HIV is still being studied.

Is not having sex the only foolproof way to prevent STDs

It's true that if you never have sex, you won't get STDs. For people who do have sex, using condoms the right way offers good protection. The kinds of sex that do not include vaginal, anal or oral intercourse are also "safer sex" and less likely to spread STDs.

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