What it is
A male condom is made of very thin latex (rubber) or polyurethane
and fits over the man's erect penis. Condoms are lubricated to make
them easier to use.
How it works
The condom stops sperm from entering the woman's vagina. It is
known as a barrier method as it stops sperm meeting an egg.
There will be instructions with the packet which should be read
carefully before using condoms for the first time.
Always use a new condom each time. Make sure it has a BSI or CE
Kitemark and check the expiry date.
Sometimes the lubricant used in latex condoms is a spermicide,
a chemical which kills sperm. Try to avoid using this sort of condom
and don? use additional spermicide as a lubricant as this can make
condoms less effective in protecting against sexually transmitted
Protects against sexually transmitted infections (STIs) as well
No side effects.
Only need to use them when you have sex.
Easily available - free from Brook Centres (for under 25s) and
family planning clinics. Come in different shapes, sizes, colours
Putting it on can interrupt sex.
Can split if not used properly.
Can slip off if not used properly.
The man needs to withdraw carefully straight after ejaculation.
How effective is it?
If used properly male condoms are 98% effective. This means that
2 women in 100 will get pregnant in a year.
The chance of pregnancy is increased if not used properly.
What makes it less effective?
If the penis touches the area around the vagina before a condom
is put on.
If it is ripped by sharp nails or rings.
Oil-based products (e.g. hand cream, Vaseline) can damage rubber
If it slips off.
If any of these things happen, advice should be sought on emergency
contraception to prevent a pregnancy.
Can anyone use this method?
Male condoms are suitable for most people. Some men and women are
allergic to rubber or spermicides used in condoms. In such cases,
it is possible to use polyurethane condoms or latex condoms without
Basic Info about
about Female Condom
FAQ on Condom