What is it?
The external condom is a thin covering that fits over an erect penis. Condoms are used to help prevent pregnancy and protect from HIV and other STDs when you have vaginal, anal or oral sex. Condoms can be made out of different materials.
Condoms come in different textures, colors and sizes. Make sure the condom fits. Some condoms are lubricated, making the condom more slippery and comfortable to use during sex. Only water based lubricants can be used with latex condoms.
- Condoms can prevent pregnancy and sexually transmitted diseases, including HIV.
- You don’t have to go to a clinic to get them.
- Condoms are easy to find in many places; at supermarkets, gas stations, drugstores, local clinics, and in vending machines.
- Condoms are easy to carry around.
- Condoms may help an erection last longer.
- Condoms can break and slip off 1-2% of the time. To prevent breakage and slippage check for proper placement and size.
Who uses external condoms?
People who are looking for no-commitment BC and want STD protection as much as they want pregnancy prevention.
How do you use external condoms?
Before using a condom, make sure which way it unrolls. Pull back the foreskin and unroll the condom all the way to the base of the penis.
Talk to your partner about using a condom in advance. Change the condom if the penis is exposed to a different site (i.e. moves from anus to vagina). Remove the condom immediately after you ejaculate (cum). Withdraw the penis while holding the rim of the condom at the base of the penis to avoid having any cum spill out. The condom should be used just once and then thrown away.
What about lube?
Lubricant is a water-based, slippery liquid that can help prevent condoms from breaking during use and may prevent irritation caused by the skin-on-skin friction that can happen during sex.
Important things to remember about lubricant:
- Only use WATER-based lubricants that are made for the purpose of having sex.
- Never use anything oil-based on a condom (such as Vaseline, baby oil, body lotion or vegetable oils) because the oil weakens the latex that the condom is made of and can cause condoms to break!
What about "double bagging"?
You may have heard of "double bagging," or layering two condoms at once to get extra protection. We don't have any data showing that "double bagging" is better or worse than the single use of condoms, but we do have a lot of evidence showing that the single use of condoms is effective at preventing STDs and pregnancy. Even if "double bagging" offers protection, because we hear so often that condoms reduce sensation, it's probably worthwhile to focus on the correct use of a single condom. This will provide the most scientifically effective birth control method + STD protection while retaining sensation!
Where do you get external condoms?
You can buy condoms at most drugstores and supermarkets, and many clinics give them away free of charge. You do not need a prescription to buy condoms, and you do not need ID. People of all ages can easily buy condoms
How effective are external condoms?
Condoms are 85-98% effective. The biggest reason for condom failure is not using a condom correctly each time you have sex.
Do external condoms offer STD protection?
Yes. Condoms are the only BC method that also prevent STDs and HIV. They can also be used with other Birth Control methods for double protection.