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Condoms: Just The Facts

Condoms are one of the most common forms of contraception.

What are they?

  • Condoms are a barrier method of contraception
  • There are many types of condom available including latex free
  • They can be bought in chemists and supermarkets, or your school may run a sexual health clinic where you can get them for free

 How do they work?

  • Condoms are worn by the male on their penis
  • Condoms stop sperm from reaching an egg by creating a barrier between them. They help protect against sexually transmitted infections and HIV
  • Condoms should always be used during oral, anal sex and when sharing sex toys
  • They need to be used correctly and the use of lube with a condom is recommended to avoid the condom splitting
  • Condoms do not affect fertility levels
  • Condoms are not affected by medication.

How effective are they?

  • When used correctly, condoms are effective at stopping both unwanted pregnancy and STI’s
  • When using condoms, it’s a good idea to use a long acting contraception as well

What if something goes wrong?

Sometimes condoms can split or come off during sex if they have been used incorrectly.  It’s important to seek medical advice if this happens to discuss your options. If you’re not using other contraceptives, you may be at risk of pregnancy and you should get yourself tested for STI.

If you have recently had unprotected sex, you may need emergency contraception. Seek advice straight away from your pharmacy, GP or local sexual health clinic.

Have a look at 7 Things to check before using a condom

Did you know?…..

  • You need to be aware of what’s on your hands before using a condom as oils can cause a condom to split, so certain food items, make-ups, including lipstick, and body lotions/oils will affect the condom.

FUN FACT: A monster munch rubbed on a condom can cause the condom to start to break

  • Condoms have been around from as early as 3000BC.

FUN FACT: The first known documentation of the ‘condom’ was that of King Minos of Crete. The bladder of a goat was used to protect his partners from his semen

  • Condoms are made of latex and stretch to fit most penis sizes, although large and smaller sizes are available.

FUN FACT: A condom can hold over 4 litres of water, but don’t worry though as the average male ejaculates around a teaspoon of semen

  • You should only wear one condom at a time

FUN FACT: Two condoms will cause friction, resulting in the the condoms splitting and sperm leaking out

  • Don’t believe everything you read as condoms do not cut off your circulation.

FUN FACT: A condom can stretch to 18 inches around, so there is no need to worry about your penis suffering from a lack of circulation

How to get help

If you have any more questions on this area or would like to speak to somebody about this topic, have a look at the links or search for your local services in the blue box below. Alternatively you can always contact your school nurse.

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