Better Sex  Sex & Sex Education  Sexual Health 

What are Condoms?

Revathi V Gopal  |  Dec 13 2020

What are Condoms?

A condom is a protective measure that can help us have safe sex. Here, in this article, we will look into what condoms are, the different types of condoms, and how to choose the right condom.

There are different contraceptive products available in the market. However, condoms provide extra protection from contracting STDs and STIs like AIDS, Hepatitis, etc. Although they are affordable and available from any drug store without any prescription, only 5% of Indians use them while having sex.

 Using a condom while having sex can prevent unwanted pregnancies. WHO highly recommends the usage of a condom as part of family planning. 

There are mainly two types of condoms, they are:

Male Condoms and Female Condoms

What are Male Condoms?

what are male condoms?

You can use a male condom to cover an erect penis to prevent the entry of semen to the woman's vagina. They are the most effective way to prevent STDs and STIs. Studies show that male condoms are 86% effective in preventing unwanted pregnancies. 

There are different types of male condoms available in the market. 

Let's have a look at them!

  1. Latex condoms: Made from natural rubber, they are the best way to prevent HIV and pregnancies. However, if you are planning on using lubricants with them, try to use water-based lubricants. 
  2. Non-Latex Condoms: Made from polyurethane, they are best suited to avoid latex allergies, and their efficiency is 95%. 
  3. Ultra-Thin Condoms: Though they are thin, they are as good as Latex condoms. The benefit of using these ones is that they improve pleasure and sensation as well.
  4. Other varieties of Condoms: You can find different male condoms like flavored, dotted, glow-in-the-dark. However, always cross-check whether they have received approval from the FDA and provide STI prevention.

What are Female Condoms?

how to use female condoms

Most of us are unaware of the existence of a variety known as female condoms. They are lubricated plastic tubes with two flexible rings. The ring on one side is sealed, and the other is open. They are an alternative to the male ones and can provide women the right to take care of their sexual well-being. They are non-latex, and women have to wear them inside their vagina. They don't have any side effects. However, they are only 79% effective. It is essential to insert them correctly to avoid pregnancies and infections.

How to choose the right condom?

choosing the right condoms

It is essential to choose the right condom to avoid any form of problems. Most of the time, people face discomfort or breakage because they are not using the correct size, sometimes people even face allergies. You can avoid that by using chemical-free ones which are made up of natural substances. Let's look at some of the ways by which you can choose the right condom!

Choose the right size: Condoms are available in three different sizes. They are standard, snug, and large. Try to measure the penis while it is erect to find the right size. You have to measure both the length and width to know what type of condom suits you. 

  • Standard-sized ones have a width ranging from 1.75 to 2 inches and length from 7.25 to 7.8 inches. 
  • Snug-sized condom has a width below 1.75 inches and length from 7 to 7.8 inches.
  • A large-sized condom has a width above 2 inches and length from 7.25 to 8.1 inches.

Always choose a condom based on the material. It is better to purchase a latex condom. You can also check with the design and whether they have built-in lubricants. However, you can always use a lubricant for extra comfort.

FAQs

What causes the coming off of a condom?
  • It is either due to usage of the wrong size or loss of erection. 
What causes the breakage of a condom?
  • It could be because the condom has expired or due to the lack of lubrication. In the case of a latex one, it is mainly due to the usage of oil-based lubricants like Vaseline.
Can we use both male and female condoms together?
  • No, it could cause friction and even lead to breakage. 
What condoms are best for preventing STDs?
  • Male condoms are 86% effective. So they are the best at preventing STDs. However, it depends highly on whether you use them consistently and correctly.
Is a female condom harder to use?
  • Though it might take some time to get a hang on it, you can use them easily once you have understood how to use them.
Do other birth control measures avoid the chances of contracting STDs?
  • No, condoms can only prevent STDs. It is better to use latex condoms for extra protection.
Are allergies to latex common?
  • They are not uncommon. Those with allergies can always switch to non-latex condoms. You can always write to us for further clarifications!

Wearing a condom while having sexual intercourse is an excellent way to reduce the chances of contracting STDs and STIs. You have to use them consistently to reduce getting any form of infections and to avoid pregnancies. Most condoms provide the same amount of pleasure and can aid in birth control. 

Cover photo by Unsplash


Liked this article? Share


You might also like

Based on what others are reading


Explore