IMPORTANT THINGS TO KNOW WHEN USING CONDOMS FOR FAMILY PLANNING
Posted on: September 11, 2023
One of the most popular methods of contraception for preventing unwanted pregnancies and sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) in Malaysia is condoms. Condoms work by preventing the sperm from entering the vagina.
Condoms are an effective tool for family planning. When used correctly, they are 98% effective at preventing pregnancies.1 However, this relies heavily on choosing the right condoms and using them correctly.
How to Correctly Choose a Condom for Men?
To maximize their effectiveness, condoms must be used consistently and correctly every time you engage in sexual intercourse. Here are a few tips on how to choose and use condoms the right way.
Condom size is a very important factor that influences the effectiveness of condoms. Condoms that are too small are likely to break during sexual intercourse, failing to prevent pregnancy and the spread of STDs. Condoms that are too big, on the other hand, can easily slip out during intercourse, possibly even getting stuck in your partner’s vagina.2
As such, it is important to choose the right size for you. The condom size range in Malaysia is typically categorized as snug fits (with nominal width of around 45-50mm), standard fits (around 52-54mm), and large fits (54-69mm).3
By referring to the measurements provided on the product packaging or the manufacturer's website, you can identify the size that best suits you.
Another factor to take into consideration is condom type. There are two major types of condoms in Malaysia, namely latex condoms and non-latex condoms. Latex condoms are widely available in the market and are a popular choice due to their stretchy nature. However, if you have latex allergy, this is not a suitable choice for you.4
In such cases, you can opt for non-latex condoms, but do keep in mind that some non-latex condoms are less effective at preventing pregnancies. For example, polyurethane condoms don’t stretch as well as latex and can break more easily.5
Proper Condom Usage that Works Best to Safely Prevent Pregnancy
Proper condom storage and usage play a key role in ensuring the efficacy of condoms. Avoid storing condoms in your wallet as heat and friction can damage them, making them less effective.6 Before using a condom, it is also important to check its expiration date. Never use a condom that’s already expired.7
Also, reusing condoms is a big no-no. This is because it increases the chances of the condom slipping off or breaking during sex. Play it safe and always use a new condom for each act of intercourse.8
In addition, make sure to use only one condom at a time. There is a common misconception that using multiple condoms together enhances protection; in reality, doing so can cause more friction and increase the chances of breakage.9
Understanding How to Wear, Remove and Dispose a Condom Properly
Knowing how to properly put on and take off a condom is also vital. When done incorrectly, the condom can become damaged and ineffective.10
First and foremost, carefully open the wrapper and take out the condom. Tearing the wrapper aggressively may damage the condom within. Next, place the condom on the tip of the erect penis and gently unroll it all the way down the penis.10
After sexual intercourse, hold the condom in place before removing the penis from the vagina. This is to prevent the condom from slipping out. Carefully remove the condom and throw it into the trash. Avoid flushing it down the toilet as this can cause clogs.10
Plan Your Family Effectively and Safely with Proper Condom Usage
Condoms are widely used for preventing unintended pregnancies and STDs. It is important to store and use them properly to ensure their effectiveness. However, we cannot rely 100% on condoms alone to prevent pregnancy as they can break at times.11 It is best to pair condoms with other contraceptives such as hormonal contraception or intrauterine devices (IUDs).