Condom: An Essential Tool For Safe Sex and Family Planning


What are condoms?

Condoms are thin sheaths or coverings, usually made of latex, that are used during sexual intercourse to help prevent pregnancy and reduce the risk of sexually transmitted infections like HIV/AIDS. When used correctly every time sexual intercourse happens, condoms provide dual protection against unintended pregnancy and transmission of diseases. There are two main types of condoms – male condoms which are worn over the erect penis and female condoms which are inserted in the vagina.

How effective are condoms at preventing pregnancy?

Clinical studies have found that when used consistently and correctly, male Condoms are highly effective at preventing pregnancy. Around 13 out of 100 people who use condoms as their only birth control method will get pregnant each year. This makes condoms about 87% effective when used correctly. The effectiveness of condoms depends on how consistently and carefully they are used. Forgetting to use it or putting it on after starting intercourse reduces the efficacy. Female condoms are found to be about 79% effective with typical use. However, when used perfectly with every act of intercourse, both male and female condoms are over 98% effective at preventing unintended pregnancies.

Do condoms protect against STIs?

Yes, condoms provide excellent protection against sexually transmitted infections like chlamydia, gonorrhea, trichomoniasis and HIV/AIDS when used properly. This is because condom act as a barrier that blocks the exchange of body fluids between partners during intercourse. Clinical studies have found that male condoms reduce the risk of transmitting HIV during vaginal sex by approximately 80%. Female condoms have similar effectiveness at reducing STI transmission as male condoms. However, neither is 100% effective as there is still a slight risk of infecton due to any uncovered skin coming in contact. Using a condom correctly from start to finish of each act of intercourse provides optimal protection.

What are the different types of condom available?

There is a wide variety of condom available in the market to suit different needs, sizes and preferences.

– Male condoms – Standard size condoms are 54mm wide and come lubricated or unlubricated. Extra large or extra small sized condoms are also available. Flavored, colored, textured and studded condoms add novelty.

– Female condoms – These are loose-fitting sheaths or pouches that are inserted in the vagina to cover the outer lips. They provide autonomy to the woman.

– Naturalamb condoms – Made of lamb intestines, these are stronger than latex but less effective against STIs.

– Latex-free condoms – Options for those with latex allergy like polyurethane, polyisoprene or nitrile condoms.

– Thin condoms – Providing enhanced sensitivity, thin condoms are only 0.04mm thick for extra pleasure.

– Delay sprays – Sprays containing anesthetics applied inside the condom desensitize to delay ejaculation.

Ensuring proper usage and storage

For condom to work as intended, it is important they are used correctly and stored properly. Key steps for proper usage include checking the expiration date, squeezing the air out of the tip while rolling it on, ensuring full coverage of the erect penis and holding the base of the condom while withdrawing after ejaculation. For storage, condoms must be kept in a cool, dark place away from heat and direct sunlight to maintain elasticity and effectiveness. Wallets are generally not suitable for storage.

Should condoms be used with other contraceptives?

Yes, using condoms along with another reliable birth control method provides couples with multiple layers of protection. Popular options used along with condoms include – oral contraceptive pills, contraceptive patches, vaginal rings, IUD, contraceptive implants, etc. This dual protection significantly reduces already low chances of pregnancy and STIs to near-zero levels while having intercourse. It is recommended especially for couples not ready for a pregnancy or at high risk of diseases. However, condoms by themselves offer very good protection when used perfectly with every act.

In summary, condoms are an easy to use, widely available and highly effective way to prevent both unintended pregnancy and transmission of sexually transmitted infections. When used correctly and consistently, they provide dual protection against the consequences of unprotected sex. Their versatility and myriad options make condoms suitable for all sexually active individuals seeking contraception at low cost.

1. Source: Coherent Market Insights, Public sources, Desk research
2. We have leveraged AI tools to mine information and compile it