What is it?

Condoms are the only type of contraception that can both prevent pregnancy and protect against sexually transmitted infections (STIs).

There are two types of condoms: male condoms, worn on the penis and female condoms, worn inside the vagina.

Male condoms are made from very thin latex (rubber), polyisoprene or polyurethane and are designed to stop a man's semen from coming into contact with his sexual partner. 

When used correctly every time you have sex, male condoms are 98% effective. This means two out of 100 women will become pregnant in one year when male condoms are used as contraception. They can also protect against STIs if used correctly during vaginal, anal and oral sex.

Most people can safely use condoms, but they may not be the most suitable method of contraception  if you:

  • Are allergic to latex condoms. If this is a problem, polyurethane or polyisoprene condoms are less likely to cause an allergic reaction.

  • If you have difficulty keeping an erection, you may not be able to use condoms because the penis must be erect to prevent semen from leaking or the condom slipping off.

  • Effective, 98%, at preventing STI’s (including but limited to; chlamydia, gonorrhea and HIV) and pregnancy.

  • Easily accessible and free at most GP surgeries and sexual health clinics or can be purchased at pharmacies, supermarkets, websites and petrol stations. 

  • Typically no medical side effects

  • They come in a variety of sizes, shapes and flavors 

  • You only need them when you have sex – therefore does not require advanced preparation 

  • Some people may be allergic to latex, plastic or spermicides, but you can get condoms that are less likely to cause an allergic reaction.

  • Condoms are strong but can tear or slip off if not used properly. Consider practicing putting them on before a sexual encounter

Our clinics offer free condoms. Similarly, most GP surgeries can provide free condoms. 

You can also purchase condoms in most supermarkets, pharmacies, petrol stations, and online.