Often shopped in secret with weird names for this product, condoms still remain a taboo topic. Though ads, media and entertainment have normalized the presence, many are unaware of the uses, benefits and details. Here is your go-to guide to condoms to ensure a safe sexual journey.
Types Of Condoms
What are condoms? A thin rubber sheath that acts as a contraceptive and provides protection against any infection. It can be worn by both men or women during sex. Condoms can be categorized as:
1. Male condoms: A male condom is worn around a man’s penis and is usually made up of latex, a special kind of rubber. But polyurethane or polyisoprene are few alternatives
2. Female condoms: A female condom is fitted into a woman’s vagina. It is made up of latex and has flexible rings on either side. The closed-end goes into the vagina while the open end faces the opening of the vagina. It is important to understand how to use female condoms correctly for effectiveness
What Are The Uses Of Condoms?
Most of the time, first-timers cannot understand the need for condoms and can constantly ask the need to wear condoms?
Following are the reasons why you should make use of condoms:
- Condoms are effective against STDs: An unprotected intercourse can result in the spread of sexually transmitted diseases if one of the partners is suffering from it. Do condoms prevent STDs? Yes, it does. It is always advisable to put on condoms before having sexual intercourse. This keeps the sexual flow of any kind in control and hence, prevents sexually transmitted diseases from spreading
- Condoms are affordable: Condoms are easily accessible and affordable. You can get it at any local chemist shop. There is no requirement of any prescription or ID to buy them. This makes them user-friendly and easily accessible
- Condoms are sexually pleasing: Condoms are protective and pleasing at the same time. You can use condoms for oral, anal, and vaginal sex so it does not matter how deep you get, it will protect you from unwanted pregnancy or disease
- Condoms prevent pregnancy: Have you ever wondered if condoms prevented pregnancies? If yes, then let us tell you that condoms are one of the best ways to prevent pregnancy. It prevents the flow of semen from the penis into the vagina and hence, is an effective contraceptive method. It is the most useful and reliable method when one of the other contraceptive techniques fails
- Condoms have no side effects: Most of the time, people can use condoms without fear of any side effects. Rarely, some people may get allergic to latex and for those scenarios, there are alternative material-based condoms that will suit you well
Effectiveness Of Condoms
Effectiveness of condoms can be determined by many factors, the most important of which is how it is used. Either of partners wearing a shorter condom or not wearing it properly can lead to pregnancy or sexually transmitted diseases. Therefore, one must understand how to use condoms to seek complete protection.
- If worn properly, male condoms are 98% effective. This implies that in a year, only 2 women out of every 100 get pregnant
- Female condoms are usually 95% effective
Busting The Myths With Facts
- Male condoms can easily get lost in a woman’s vaginal tract during intercourse, requiring surgery to get the condom out.
- Some couples who seek family planning do not want to use condoms because they believe that condoms are not effective in preventing pregnancy or sexually transmitted diseases.
- People believe that using condoms can cause side effects or health risks such as illness, infections or diseases.
- Some couples believe that condoms can constrict an erect penis, causing premature ejaculation.
- Many believe that condoms encourage promiscuity, infidelity or prostitution.
- Condoms cannot fit the larger penises.
- Studies indicate that a condom rarely slips off completely during intercourse. On average, when used incorrectly about 2% of condoms break or slip off completely. And in case of a slip, it cannot slip beyond the vagina and hence is easily retrievable.
- Condoms are the only contraceptive method that can protect against both pregnancy and STIs, including HIV.
- When used consistently and correctly, condoms prevent 80% to 95% of HIV transmission that might occur without condoms.
- Plastic condoms made of synthetic materials offer an alternative for individuals who are allergic or sensitive to latex.
- Using a male condom does not cause premature ejaculation.
- There is no proven evidence that condoms or other methods of contraception affect human behaviour. The evidence on contraception in general shows that sexual behaviour is unrelated to contraceptive use. Using condoms makes you a responsible citizen and a self-aware couple.
- Condoms vary in shape, size, colour, lubrication, thickness, texture, and whether or not they are coated with spermicide. Though there is no standard size of condoms, try and find out what your correct size is.
Varieties Of Condoms
Types Of Male Condoms:
1. Latex/Plastic/Lambskin – Most men use condoms made up of latex rubber. But in case, you are someone who is allergic to latex, you can use condoms made up of plastic: polyethene and polyisoprene. Natural or lambskin condoms, made of lamb intestines also prevent pregnancies and are the best condoms for men.
2. Lubricate – Lubrication or lube is a thin coating of liquid on the condom. It prevents irritation during sex and also helps the condom from breaking. Use a water-based product since oil-based lubricants can damage the condom.
3. Spermicide – Some condoms are coated with a chemical that kills sperm. This can lower the risk of pregnancy, but the amount of spermicide that comes with a condom probably isn’t enough to make a difference. If you want extra protection. You can make use of a sperm killing product called nonoxynol-9. Avoid using nonoxynol-9 since the latter can lead to you becoming more prone to HIV.
4. Textured Condoms – These include ribbed and studded types and are meant to boost your pleasure.
Types Of Female Condoms:
- Female Condoms 1 – FC1 is no longer manufactured
- Female Condoms 2 – FC2 is made up of polyurethane and is one of the best condoms for women’s health.
Where Can You Buy Condoms In India?
The availability factor plays an important role in determining how many people use condoms. Even after adequate awareness, there might be a lack of availability of condoms to normal people.
In India, condoms are mostly found in pharmaceuticals, supermarkets and clinics. Many brands are manufacturing condoms in India, out of which some of the best condoms for men are:
- Manforce Dotted Condoms
- Durex Nirodh
- Score Timeless Condoms
- Kohinoor Dotted Condoms
- Durex Air Ultra-Thin Condoms
One doesn’t need a prescription to get access to condoms. Also, there are no age restrictions too. Given that we are stuck in a pandemic, condoms can be bought online as well.
How To Put A Condom?
It is important to know how to use condoms and make sure to wear them properly. This prevents any kind of unwanted pregnancies, infections or diseases.
Step-by-Step Guide On How to Use Condoms:
- Carefully open the wrapper and take out the condom.
- Place it on the tip of your fully erect penis. If you’re uncircumcised, pull back the foreskin first.
- Pinch the air out of the tip of the condom.
- Unroll it down your penis.
- Hold the condom in place at the base of your penis while you pull out after sex.
- Remove it and throw it in the trash.
- Carefully open the wrapper and take out the condom.
- Get in a comfortable position, such as standing with one foot on a chair or squatting.
- Squeeze the sides of the inner ring at the closed end of the condom.
- Insert the condom into your vagina like you would insert a tampon.
- Push the condom in as far as it will go comfortably until it rests against your cervix. The outer ring will hang outside your body slightly.
- Use your hand to guide your partner’s penis into the condom.
- Twist the outer ring and pull it out when the act is over.
- Throw it in the trash.
When To Consult A Doctor?
It becomes important to consult the doctor if any one of the following happens –
- The condom of either partner breaks
- The partner feels any kind of pain after sex
- In case of any change in smell or odour in vaginal discharge
- If the female becomes pregnant
- If a woman partner has pelvic pain/ unexplained fever
Tips For Using Condoms
- Make sure you don’t tear condoms while opening the package
- Throw if it is brittle, sticky, or expired
- Seek some professional help to understand how to put a condom
- Don’t reuse any condom
- Put it on your penis or insert it into your vagina before any kind of direct sexual contact
- If the male condom doesn’t have a reservoir tip, pinch the end to leave about a half-inch of space to collect the semen when you ejaculate
- When you remove it, make sure the semen doesn’t fall out of the male condom.
- In the case of a woman condom, lubricate it on both sides so that it easily slides into your vagina
- If you feel condoms out of its place, breaking or pushing deep (in case of a female condom), stop the sex right away and either fix it or replace it with a new one
Sexual intercourse is a natural need. However, one should also keep all risk factors in check. Use condoms every time you want to have sex. This will ensure that you don’t go through unwanted pregnancies and sexually transmitted diseases. Stay safe and cherish every moment of intimacy with your partner without worrying about anything else.