Contraception - Condoms

An unwanted pregnancy is something most women dread, it can cause horrific disruptions physically, mentally and emotionally. For most women it is something they would rather not think about. So to avoid this problem, if you are sexually active, contraception is something that must be considered.

This then may bring a woman to a difficult decision. Which contraception devise should she use? Which one is the most effective? Which one is the most appropriate for her health? And which one is the most suitable for the sexual lifestyle being lead?

These days condoms are the most safest and effective type of contraception to use. Most of us are aware that they protect us from not only pregnancy, but also HIV and other various STDs (Sexually Transmitted Diseases). However many women hate using condoms (just as guys do), and if you are someone who is in a monogamous relationship (meaning that you are only sleeping with one man) and you trust them, there are other alternatives than the condom.


Most of us know what a condom is, and for those who don't, well you must have been living in outer space for the last century (no offence!). The serious description of a condom is, that it's a rubber sheath (normally made from latex) that is placed over an erect penis BEFORE penetration. None of this "oh let's just put it in for a little while, before we really do it properly." If it's in you are doing it properly!

The condom is used to collect sperm, so that it does not make contact with the vagina. Now for those who think you can only get pregnant when a male ejaculates inside you, well you are wrong! You may have noticed that little bit of fluid coming from your partner's penis during foreplay. That fluid is there for a reason, it helps to lubricate during penetration.

Now the problem lies here...that little bit of fluid has high amounts of sperm in it. Yes sperm, the stuff that can make you pregnant. So think twice before you have that "oh it feels so good without the condom" because that small amount of fluid will surely be there, and can cause you to fall pregnant.

How effective are they really?

They are about 98% effective when used correctly. You may think "What? Used correctly?" as there seems to be only one way to use them, but there are a few tricks to using them. Some of you may have already found out through trial and error.

One common problem with condoms failing is at times they can come off without you noticing. I'm sure some of you may have experienced "where the hell did the condom go?!" It will tend to come off if the penis loses its erectness (even if only for a short time). But the most common time it comes off is when the male ejaculates. Once the penis softens, the condom slides off very easily. So as soon as your man has ejaculated finished, make sure you don't take that time to enjoy 'that blissful moment', because the likelihood of that condom coming off at that stage, is quite high. When your partner removes his penis (sorry I have to be so graphic) make sure one of you is holding the base of the condom!

Other tips
Another thing that interrupts the effectiveness of condoms is the use of creams and oils, as they may erode the rubber, allowing sperm to pass through. Personal waterbased lubricant is ok though.
Remember the rules of putting one on - always squeeze the air out of the tip, as a bubble may form, which, and while you are not thinking about the condom, it can burst.
Never use the same one twice. Although that one is pretty obvious!
One works best, don't try two, the condoms are more likely to come off.
Make sure you don't put it on inside out.

Most of us know that they are one of the only contraceptive devices that protect us from HIV and various other STDs. However you need to know they are not very good for the protection of genital herpes and warts, as these two STDs are transmitted by skin to skin contact. So because the base of the penis and the outer part of the vagina are in contact even when using a condom, these STDs can be passed on.
So if you choose condoms as your preferred method of contraception, use them carefully and you should have very few problems.

- Louise Ganey

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