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Condoms are so commonly used by males as a contraceptive device that there is hardly any need for an introduction here. These latex/polyurethane devices are rolled over penis to prevent semen from entering the vagina, hence providing protection from pregnancy.

Condoms are the third most popular form of contraceptive method in the entire world. More than 18% of people rely on condoms for birth control. Here are some of the pros and cons of condoms-


  • Effectiveness and Simplicity: Condoms arehighly effective. The error percentage is also very low- 15 %. These days special condoms are also available which have a spermicide covered tip, and hence are even more effective. Since condoms are to be used once and then thrown away there are no chances of infection and other associated problems related to hygiene.
  • STD protection- Condoms offer the best prevention from sexually transmitted diseases of all kinds. This is because they implement a barrier between the genitals and bodily fluids of both sexes during sexual intercourse. Many malignant and prevalent diseases such as Human Papilloma, Herpes, etc. have shown reduced transmission with the usage of condoms. Even the transmission of deadliest of all HIV can be reduced by 85% if condoms are used in the right manner.
  • Availability- Condoms are literally available everywhere- from pharmacy stores to general stores, and from malls to super markets. In fact, in most big cities there are condom vending machines which can be used to buy a condom conveniently. Not only condoms are inexpensive, one doesn’t even need a prescription to buy them.


  • Reduced Satisfaction- Many men, and even women complain that the usage of condoms interferes with the sexual activity, and reduces the pleasure. The time needed to put on a condom is also reported to cause interruption in foreplay and the intercourse.
  • Breaking or Tearing- A condom is vulnerable to a tear or a break, even though the likeliness of that is not much. Sometimes, condoms break during the time when a man puts them on too.

How to use a Condom-

Using a condom is fairly easy. Once a full or at least a partial erection has attainedyou need to follow these steps-

  • Tear open the pack of condom from a corner, making sure that the condom itself doesn’t get torn by your fingernail, teeth, or through being too rough. Take out the condom and check if it is in a good condition. Also check the expiry date of the wrapper.
  • Place the rolled condom on the tip of the erect penis while pinching the tip of the condom to make space for the semen to be collected. If the penis is not circumcised then do pull the foreskin before rolling down the condom. Never roll the condom open before placing it on the tip of the penis.
  • Roll the condom all the way to the end of the penis shaft. If air bubbles form between the condom and skin then smooth them out. Failing to do so can cause the condom to break.

Condom Sizes

Condoms come in varying sizes, viz. different lengths, thicknesses, and widths. While most come with a reservoir tip (for the collection of semen after ejaculation) some come with a plain tip. They even come in different textures and shapes. For instance, there are regular shaped condoms which have straight sides, form fit condoms which are indented below the head of a penis, and flared condoms which have a wide expansion at the head of a penis.

For improved sensation and increased satisfaction there are also ribbed condoms in the market, which are textured with bumps or ribs.

What to do if a condom breaks or slips?

While having sex one should keep on checking the condom every once in a while to see if it is coming off or has broken. If it starts to slip then it should be rolled down again immediately. In case it slipped up completely then a new condom should be used.

If a condom breaks during sexual intercourse then it should be replaced immediately. In case the semen has already come out through the tear then one must consider an emergency contraceptive (a morning pill commonly).

One can prevent the chances of condom slipping by choosing the correct size. Condoms come in varying sizes and one must ensure that he is using the right one.

Other Reasons to Use a Condom

One may use a condom instead of other pregnancy protection methods for the following reasons-

  • When either of the sexual partners have allergies or experience side-effects with other forms of contraceptive methods.
  • When one wants to make sex less messy.
  • When one wants to get maximum protection from STDs.