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What is it?
- 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
How does it work?
- Condoms stop sperm from reaching an egg by creating a barrier between them and 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 is it?
- When used correctly, condoms are effective at stopping both unwanted pregnancy and STI
- When young men and young women are 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 is important to seek medical advice to discuss your options. If you are 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 school nurse, GP or local sexual health clinic.
Have a look at 7 Things to check before using a condom
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 public health nurse.
Find help in your local area
Find out what services are available to you in your area. Remember your school nurse is always there to give you confidential help and support.