johnnys, rubbers, johnnys, french letters...
Whatever you call them, when used
properly condoms are very effective in preventing pregnancy.
Condoms do have the added advantage of being the ONLY form of contraception
that'll stop you catching STIs (Sexually Transmitted Infections)
, but the pill does provide better protection against unplanned
pregnancy. Condoms have the advantage of allowing the male to take
an active part in contraception and have no known side effects.
How much and where are they?
Prices vary for condoms but generally are about £3.00 for
a pack of three. You can buy them in chemists, supermarkets, pub
and club toilets and of course barber shops ( hence the phrase 'something
for the weekend?' ). You don't have to be over sixteen to buy them.
They are available FREE
from a family planning/3Cs clinic or some doctors.
What can go wrong?
Condoms are generally pretty safe. However they can split or fall
off. When removing a condom take a quick and discreet look before
chucking it just to check it has not been damaged. If you have
had a condom fall off during sex, or you think its split then you
both should get to a clinic as soon as you can. You will need
to think about emergency contraception.Click
here to find out more...
So how do I use them?
Condoms are extremely thin so come wrapped in foil. Be careful
when you tear the foil as it is easy to damage the condom inside.The
condom will feel slippery - this is normal as it is the protective
lubricant. Do not use any petroleum based lubricants in addition
such as Vaseline as they will damage the condom. If you want
use a water based lubricant such as KY Jelly. Wearing two condoms
does not make sex safer as they will damage each other!
You must put the condom on before the penis
goes anywhere near the vagina as sperm can be released long before
you actually ejaculate. The penis needs to be erect before the condom
will go on.
Be careful with rings and studs! - they can rip the condom.
Some couples find it a turn on to help each other putting on the
condom so whoever does it needs to be careful. You'll notice a thicker
ring with the transparent centre. Sometimes there will be a slight
teat. This is to safely hold the sperm. Place the ring on top of
the penis and slide it carefully down as you unroll it. If it does
not seem to want to unravel you probably simply have it upside down.
Don't just turn it inside out and try again - there's probably
traces of sperm now on the condom. Chuck it and get another!
After sex the erection can fade pretty quick - even if it does
not you need to be careful as you withdraw, perhaps holding the
base of the condom as you pull out. Don't resume intercourse
without a condom as even after you have come seamen will continue
to leak from the penis.
Often called the 'femidom'. It's kind of similar to the male condom
but larger and fits inside the vagina. It works the same way as
the male condom. They're not as easy to get hold of as male condoms
but contacting your nearest Outreach
or clinic will help.
What are ribbed, coloured or flavoured
condoms all about?
All these types of condoms are also known as 'fundoms' Some people
feel that these are not as safe as normal condoms. Ribbed condoms
have a slight ripple effect moulded into them, designed to make
sex more enjoyable. This may be true for some people but not for
others. Coloured condoms are simply that - coloured condoms. You
can even get glow in the dark condoms! Widely available are flavoured
condoms from beer to melon! This may be a turn off for some people
but others may find it enjoyable. If you can it may be fun for you
and your partner to try out the different sorts to find out which
you like best.