Information on Condoms
Condoms enable men and women to have sex, with a much reduced risk of unwanted pregnancy or transmission of sexually transmitted diseases.
What is a condom and how effective is it?
A condom is a one ended tube made of rubber, latex or polyurethane and is worn on a man's erect penis during sexual intercourse. Condoms collect the man's semen when he ejaculates, and thus provide a physical barrier to sperm entering the woman's vagina. They have a success rate of between 86% and 97% - this means that out of 100 couples who use condoms as a method of contraception for a year, between 3% and 14% will fall pregnant.
Condoms provide a more reliable method of contraception when used with a spermicide such as a foam, pessary or jelly. Indeed, some condoms themselves are impregnated with nonoxnol-9, a spermicide. When used under these conditions, they can provide a 98% success rate.
Condoms also provide the best protection against the transmission of many sexually transmitted diseases, including HIV, the virus that causes AIDS, syphilis, gonorrhea, chlamydia and pelvic inflammatory disease. Both chlamydia and pelvic inflammatory disease can lead to infertility in women. They also offer a degree of protection against the viruses that cause genital herpes and genital warts.
How are condoms used?
They should be stored in a cool, dry place out of direct sunlight. They should be used with a water based lubricant which will make them less likely to rip. The latex variety can be safely used with KY jelly and other water based lubricants, but do not use them with oil base lubricants such as baby oil, as oils can break down latex.
More tips to get the best out of condoms:
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