Scientific Editor: Editorial Board ISUD website
- What degree of protection do condoms offer?
- Effect of lubricants
- Side effects for condom users
- Difficulties in condom use
- Instructions for the proper use of condoms
Condoms that provide substantial protection from undesirable conception/ pregnancy and sexually-transmitted diseases are made of latex or plastic having the shape of the penis.
Condoms are available in a wide range of types and colors, with or without lubrication, and some of them even contain a sort of spermocide agent.
What degree of protection do condoms offer?
The effectiveness of condoms IS NOT taken for granted since it is known that even with the use of condoms there is still a 2% rate of undesirable pregnancies. With regard to sexually-transmitted diseases (STD), condoms made of latex offer very good protection against HIV/AIDS. They also reduce the risk of other STDs containing infections from chlamydia, trichomonas, seborrhea, Hepatitis B, genital herpes (Herpes Genitalis), Human Papilloma Virus (HPV) and syphilis. Furthermore, condoms reduce the risk of urinary tract infections (UTI).
Effect of lubricants
Some types of lubricants may damage a latex condom by eliminating its protective effect. You should use only water-based lubricants, e.g. KY jelly. Oil-based lubricants, like petroleum jelly (vaseline), body lotion, butter or vegetable oils, render condoms ineffective in preventing pregnancy and infection from sexually-transmitted diseases.
Side effects for condom users
Only in very rare cases (5-6%) is there an allergic reaction to latex either in men or women. If so, the first thing to do is change to another commercial package. In very few cases the allergic reaction will keep on occurring. So, if you are allergic to latex, you can try a condom that is made of plastic.
Difficulties in condom use
Some men and women feel that the use of a condom reduces their sensation and delight in sexual contact. Others feel that interrupting the sexual intercourse to put on the condom distorts the 'natural flow' and spontaneity and, as a consequence, reduces sexual desire. There are also men who feel stressed in their effort to maintain a good erection with the condom on because they fear it may break or come out. Under such stress, they are very likely to lose their erection. However, if you cannot overcome these problems and enjoy sex with the use of condoms, you should ask a trained Psychologist/ Sexologist to help you. Avoiding the use of condoms is certainly not the solution. Today, using condom in a non-stable relationship SAVES both your life and your partner's life!
Instructions for the proper use of condoms
- Purchase condoms from places that are not exposed to high temperatures, such as pharmacies. Read carefully the instructions and check the expiration date before using any condom. In case it is torn or the lubricant has dried out, throw it away and use another one.
- Use every condom only once. In case it comes out during sexual intercourse, throw it away and use a new one.
- Wear the condom, before the penis approaches the woman's genital area. The reason for this is that the fluid coming out of the urethra may transfer bacteria, and even sperm cells that may result in an undesirable pregnancy.
- Pull backwards the skin covering the penis (unless you have undergone circumcision) before wearing the condom.
- Use two fingers to press the air which is potentially trapped in the condom after wearing it.
- Unwrap the condom unrolling it along the penis, so that it covers the entire penis from the glans (penile head) to its base.
- Should your female partner's vagina be dry, you should either prolong the erotic game until it gets lubricated enough or use a safe water-based lubricant.