Condoms are a popular form of contraception often used to protect against unwanted pregnancy and the transmission of STDs. Although condoms are simple to use, there is still misinformation about exactly how they should be used for most effective and safe results. To bridge this knowledge gap, we’re providing an overview of the basics of condom use.

What Are Condoms?

Condoms are thin, stretchy sheaths that help to prevent the exchange of bodily fluids between partners during unprotected sexual activity. They usually come in solid colors like white and tan and are made of either latex, synthetic polyurethane, or lambskin. Condoms can be purchased at most drugstores, grocery stores, and convenience stores.

How to Use a Condom

To use a condom, start by carefully opening the wrapper and inspecting the condom for any signs of deterioration. Discard any condoms that are torn or have a strange odor. Check the expiration date printed on the package and make sure it’s not expired.

Once ready to use, pinch the tip of the condom and roll it down the shaft of the penis, all the way to the base. Apply a water- or silicone-based lubricant to the outside of the condom to reduce the risk of breakage.

Before and After Care

It’s important to know that condoms are most effective when used consistently and correctly. To make sure condoms are helping provide the highest level of protection, store them correctly, avoid using expired condoms, and talk to a healthcare provider about any kind of allergies, sensitivities, or irritations related to condom use.

Once intercourse is complete, hold on to the base of the condom to make sure it doesn’t slip off before taking it off. Immediately discard the used condom in the trash.

Benefits of Condom Use

In addition to preventing unwanted pregnancies, condoms are an effective form of protection against the spread of STDs. Studies have shown that consistent and correct condom use can cut in half the risk of contracting HIV. While condoms may not fully protect against transmission of all STDs, using condoms consistently and correctly is one of the best methods to lower the risk of infection.
Final Thoughts

Using condoms consistently and correctly is an important factor when it comes to preventing the spread of STDs and preventing unwanted pregnancies. Follow the tips and instructions provided for proper condom use, and talk to a health care provider about any other questions or concerns. With proper and consistent condom use, both partners can feel at ease knowing that they are being safe and effectively protected.