How to Use
Condoms should be used before skin-to-skin contact, and a new condom used every time you have sex. Put the condom on an erect penis, squeezing the tip as it's rolled down. Ideally you want to have a one-half inch space at the tip and the condom to be air-free to avoid breakage. If using lubricant, do not use an oil-based product such as Vaseline! After ejaculation, withdraw the penis before it becomes soft, otherwise the condom might slip off in the vagina or rectum. When removing the penis, hold the condom at the base to avoid slipping off. If a break occurs, Emergency Contraception should be considered.
- Provides best protection against STIs and HIV when a spermicidal lubricant is used. Only latex condoms can stop the transmission of HIV. Tests have shown that Polyurethane and lambskin condoms do not stop the transmission of the virus.
- Does not require a prescription and is relatively inexpensive and easy to find.
- Can break or leak if not withdrawn correctly.
- Latex condoms can only be used with certain types of lubricants (KY, Astroglide, etc.) or they will literally fall apart.
With perfect use, the failure rate will be 3% within the 1st year. With typical use, the failure rate will be 14% within the 1st year.
Condoms are available for free at the Student Health Center. Condom machines are located on campus in the laundry rooms for 25¢ each. They can also be found at drugstores or supermarkets for around $5.00-$20.00 depending on the number of condoms per box. Condoms can also be free at health or family planning clinics.
Other Facts to Consider
- Using 2 or more condoms at the same time is more dangerous than using 1. The friction between the two can cause tearing and ripping.
- Exposure to heat or sunlight or by age can weaken and harden the condoms, causing them to be fragile and tear during use. Always keep them in a cool and dry location.
- As always, remember that using a condom is the safest and most reliable method of stopping the transmission of Sexually Transmitted Infections (STIs). However, it's always better to use 2 forms of contraceptives if possible to stop undesirable pregnancies.