Home > Teenage Troubles > Your Questions About Condoms

Your Questions About Condoms

By: Beth Morrisey MLIS - Updated: 9 Aug 2013 | comments*Discuss
 
Condoms female Condom using A Condom

Condoms are arguably the most popular form of birth control in the world. They are inexpensive, they are portable, they can be carried by both men and women and they can be bought over the counter without a prescription. However, even though condoms are popular not everyone knows all about them. Below are some basic answers to frequently asked questions about condoms.

What Are Condoms?

Condoms are sheaths, usually made of thin rubber such as latex, that are worn over an erect penis in order to prevent pregnancy and the transmission of sexually transmitted infections (STIs).

How Do Condoms Work?

Condoms are a barrier method of contraception. This means that condoms create an actual barrier between the individuals engaging in sexual intercourse. When a male ejaculates his semen is "caught" in the condom and thus should not have the chance to reach a woman's egg and the risk of pregnancy is lowered. The condom also theoretically provides a barrier between skin-to-skin contact, so the risk of transmission of STIs is lowered as well.

How Effective Are Condoms?

Several different studies have published statistics about the effectiveness of condoms. In general it is accepted that condoms are effective anywhere between 85% and 97% of the time in preventing pregnancies ,and almost 100% of the time in preventing STIs except for crabs/pubic lice.

Why Aren't Condoms 100% Effective?

Condoms are not 100% effective in preventing pregnancies for three main reasons. The first is that condoms can break or fall off. It is estimated that about 5% of condoms will break or fall off during sex. The second is that condoms are susceptible to oil based lubricants and can actually be broken down if used together. Finally, some condoms may not have been stored properly and may have deteriorated while in storage due to exposure to heat or light. Condoms that feel sticky, dry or have passed their expiration date should not be used. If a condom does not work as expected, the morning after pill can be taken to help avoid pregnancy. Using condoms in conjunction with another method of contraception will also help prevent pregnancy in the event of a malfunction.

When Should Condoms Be Used?

Condoms should be used during any form of sexual intercourse: oral, vaginal or anal. During anal intercourse a thicker condom should be used as there is more pressure exerted and a thinner condom could be more likely to break.

What Kind of Condom Should Be Used?

There are many different kinds of condoms on the market that come in an abundance of shapes, sizes, textures, colours and even flavours. As long as a condom has passed certain safety tests and carry the British Standard kite mark or the EEC Standard mark then it should be safe. If you are anywhere else in the world condoms that are ISO approved should be safe.

Can Women Use Condoms?

Women can, and should, carry condoms so that they are prepared whenever, and wherever, they choose to have sex. Many women do not carry condoms because they believe that it makes them look "easy". This is not true. Carrying condoms makes anyone, man or woman, seem prepared and mature. Women can also use female condoms, which are sheaths that are worn inside the vagina.

Where Can I Get More Information On Condoms?

For more information on condoms, visit a medical professional, health counsellor or a reproductive health centre such as Marie Stopes (www.mariestopes.org.uk).

You might also like...
Share Your Story, Join the Discussion or Seek Advice..
Why not be the first to leave a comment for discussion, ask for advice or share your story...

If you'd like to ask a question one of our experts (workload permitting) or a helpful reader hopefully can help you... We also love comments and interesting stories

Title:
(never shown)
Firstname:
(never shown)
Surname:
(never shown)
Email:
(never shown)
Nickname:
(shown)
Comment:
Validate:
Enter word:
Latest Comments
  • TeenIssues
    Re: All about Abortion
    Melody - Your Question:Me and my boyfriend have been together for half a year and he decided to finger me whih I agreed too.however he had…
    26 May 2017
  • Melody
    Re: All about Abortion
    Me and my boyfriend have been together for half a year and he decided to finger me whih I agreed too.however he had recently touched himself…
    25 May 2017
  • Missy
    Re: Warning Signs of Self Harming
    @Aoneill 21 - if you feel this way, then it is important you seek help and some support :(
    24 May 2017
  • sai
    Re: How to Deal with Pressure From Parents
    I have faced the problem in my 12 grade by my parents, he hurt me by kicking me. My New Year 2017 was spoiled by…
    21 May 2017
  • Aoneill 21
    Re: Warning Signs of Self Harming
    I can't stop self-harming I have been doing it for 6 year's and can't stop no friends i'm scared of life ??????
    20 May 2017
  • TeenIssues
    Re: Let's Talk About Sex
    JennyJelly - Your Question:I have just turned 16 - the legal age. My boyfriend and I have been together for to years so we are very committed…
    19 May 2017
  • TeenIssues
    Re: Warning Signs of Self Harming
    JennyJelly - Your Question:Ever since I was little I would scratch until I bleed, sometime it was because I was scared or nervous…
    19 May 2017
  • JennyJelly
    Re: Let's Talk About Sex
    I have just turned 16 - the legal age. My boyfriend and I have been together for to years so we are very committed and in love. He wants to…
    18 May 2017
  • JennyJelly
    Re: Warning Signs of Self Harming
    Ever since I was little I would scratch until I bleed, sometime it was because I was scared or nervous but mostly I'd just do it…
    18 May 2017
  • SurferGirl
    Re: Coping with a Crush
    @MagicalFruits - it sounds as though he likes you especially if he was staring at you. But it depends on what way he was staring at you - as…
    17 May 2017
Further Reading...
Our Most Popular...
Add to my Yahoo!
Add to Google
Stumble this
Add to Twitter
Add To Facebook
RSS feed
You should seek independent professional advice before acting upon any information on the TeenIssues website. Please read our Disclaimer.