Yes. Condoms have been proven to provide protection against sexually transmitted infections (STIs). In fact, condoms are the only contraceptive method that also provides STI protection. Condoms provide different levels of risk reduction for different STIs because infections are spread differently, some by contact with bodily fluids while others via skin to skin contact.
There are a range of tests performed by both regulatory agencies and the condom manufacturers. These include electronic testing and the water leak, air burst, and strength tests.
Firstly, check that they have not expired. They should also carry a standards approval mark (either FDA, ISO, CE or the British Standard Kite Mark) and that they have been properly stored.
When used as directed, condoms can be very effective in preventing both pregnancy and sexually transmitted infections (STIs).
If a condom breaks and no other form of contraception such as the contraceptive pill is used, then there is a risk that a woman may become pregnant. If this happens, you should consider using emergency contraception.
Yes. Condoms are made in different lengths and widths, and different manufacturers produce varying sizes. There is no standard length for condoms, though those made from natural rubber will in addition always stretch if necessary to fit the length of the man's erect penis.
Yes. If you are going to use a condom under water, it is important that you put the condom on before you get into the water. Also, if the water contains chemicals such as chlorine, or additives such as soap or bath oil, it may affect the condom’s latex material.
No. Using two condoms at the same time is not a good idea as the friction may result in one or both of the condoms tearing. If you want to take extra precautions against pregnancy when having sex, and are concerned about the possibility of a condom breaking it is better to use another form of contraception. For example, using a contraceptive pill, patch, contraceptive ring or IUS as well as a condom will ensure that you both have double protection against pregnancy as well as protection against STIs.
It will depend on which country you are in, but in most countries, you can buy condoms from pharmacies and supermarkets.
Some people find that condoms interfere with spontaneity and sensation, but they can be fun to use once you have got used to how they need to be put on.
Not sure how to broach the topic of sex and contraception with your partner, parents, or doctor? We’re here to help.
Accessed on September 6, 2016