Condoms are one of the most common forms of contraception. Whether you are having sex for the first time or have been using condoms for years, there is a good chance that you may have some questions about them. Here are some of the answers to common questions about condoms.
How do I choose the right condom?
There are many different sizes, colors, and textures out on the market that are available for you to choose from. Whether you want to use a glow in the dark condom or a flavored condom (which can also be used for oral sex), there are a wide variety of choices out there. Many are designed to increase pleasure for one or both partners. The best thing that you can do is experiment with a few different types of condoms to see what type will enhance pleasure for both you and your partner.
Are condoms 100% effective at preventing pregnancy?
No. Like other forms of contraception, condoms are not 100% effective at preventing pregnancy. There is about a 10% to 15% chance that they will not prevent you from becoming pregnant. This generally occurs if the condom has not been used properly, or if it has broken or fallen off during sexual intercourse. It is best to use condoms in conjunction with another form of contraception, such as the birth control pill, patch, or ring. Remember that condoms will still greatly reduce your risk of becoming pregnant, so it is a good idea to still use one if you are not yet ready to become a parent.
Are condoms 100% effective at preventing STDs?
No. Condoms do not provide full protection against STDs. When you choose to use condoms, you will be greatly reducing your risk of contracting any STD. HIV and gonorrhea, which are spread through semen or vaginal fluid, will be prevented by the use of condoms. STDs such as HPV, herpes, and syphilis can all be spread from direct skin to skin contact. Depending on what area of skin has been infected, condoms may still greatly reduce your risk of contracting the STD. Using condoms are certainly in your best interest if you want to prevent or reduce your risk of getting a STD from your partner, but it is still possible for it to happen. Having sexual intercourse with someone who you are in a long-term, monogamous relationship is ideal.
How will I know if the condom has broken during sexual intercourse? What do I do if this happens? Is a condom breaking a common occurrence, and how can I prevent it?
It is important to keep in mind that it is very rare for a condom to break. About four to six percent of condoms break. This means that four to six out of every one hundred will become broken during sexual intercourse. If it does happen, it is likely that both the male and female will know. Intercourse will feel very painful or uncomfortable. If the condom breaks, replace it prior to continuing and if you are afraid that any semen has leaked out, you may want to think about using emergency contraception, like Plan B. While a condom breaking is very rare, it is far from impossible. Reduce the risk of it happening by choosing latex, which is known to be a much more durable option.
Is it necessary to use a condom when performing oral sex?
Any time that you perform oral sex on a guy, it is best to have him wear a condom. There are flavored condoms available on the market, which are designed to enhance flavor and make the overall experience of using a condom during oral sex more pleasurable for the person who is giving it. Using condoms can help greatly reduce your risk of contracting a STD during oral sex, but remember it is not 100% effective.
I heard that you shouldn’t use a condom for anal sex. Is this true?
Anal sex is just like any other type of sexual intercourse. You can contract STDs if you do not use a condom. Many people say that it is more comfortable to not use one, but this is all a myth. Using a lubrication in conjunction with a condom will make the experience more comfortable, and you will still be protected. Any type of latex condom will do, but choosing one which is thicker in texture is ideal. When using a condom for anal sex, do not choose one which has Nonoxynol 9. The reason is because it is known to cause damage to the rectum lining, which may make you more susceptible to HIV and other STDs.
Can I use a lubricant with condoms, or will it make them less effective?
Lubricant is actually known to increase a condom’s effectiveness. Keep in mind that there are two things to remember when thinking about using lubricant. The first is that you should only use it with latex condoms, which are the much more durable option. Also keep in mind that you should only use lubricants which are water-based. Oil-based lubricants could negatively impact the condom’s effectiveness.
Will condoms be effective if I am having sexual intercourse in water?
There is no substantial evidence which shows that condoms are any less effective when they are used in water. Keep in mind that there are certain products which you may use which could have an impact on their effectiveness, such as certain soaps or bubble baths. Be sue to use products which are water based and not oil based. Also keep in mind that when used in pools or hot tubs, condoms can be less effective due to the chlorine or other chemicals. Also keep in mind that if you are a male who is going to be sitting in a tub or pool of water, you will want to put the condom on beforehand or water may enter the interior of the condom, making it difficult to put on or causing it to fall off.
My boyfriend plans to use the pull-out method. Do we still need a condom?
Yes, you still need to use a condom if you want to protect yourself from pregnancy or STDs. Pre-ejaculation still contains sperm, which can impregnate you. This means that even if your boyfriend pulls out before ejaculation, there is still a possibility that you may become pregnant. Just as importantly, you will putting yourself a much bigger risk of getting a STD without using a condom.
Remember that condoms are ideal to use when having sexual intercourse with any partner, even if you are in a long term and monogamous relationship. Although they may not entirely prevent STDs or pregnancy, they can reduce the risk of both. It is important to keep in mind that many STDs can last a lifetime, and can be prevented just by using a condom. It only takes one time for you to become pregnant or contract a STD.