Condoms are methods of conception to prevent pregnancies. Not just that condoms are also effective in preventing HIV and other sexually transmitted diseases. These are the most preferred options for contraception being convenient and easy to use. Condoms are made with different materials so that if a person is allergic to latex, they can switch to one with another material. For protected sex, condoms are a good contraception option.

Types of Condoms

Condoms can be classified into two primary categories- Male and Female.

While condoms for men are known and promoted a lot, female condoms are still taboo. This is why most women do not know about female condoms let alone use them for protection. While male condoms are worn externally, female condoms are inserted into the vagina. Both of them are meant to prevent the insertion of sperm into the vagina of the female partner. Male condoms are worn during the intercourse whereas female condoms can be inserted hours before the session. While the failure rate of both is quite less, in some cases, they may fail to result in unwanted pregnancies.

Let us now move to secondary types of condoms based on their material and formation.

Latex, lambskin or plastic condoms: Usually, condoms available in pharmacies are made of latex. These are affordable as compared to the ones made with other materials. However, some people are allergic or sensitive to latex and so, they can choose other variants. Lambskin condoms are made of the skin of the intestine of a lamb. These prevent pregnancies but since they are made up of skin, they have very tiny holes and so, may not protect against STDs. Additionally, plastic condoms made of polyisoprene or polyurethane can also be used. These prevent conception and also the transmission of sexually transmitted diseases.

Lubricated Condoms: Some condoms come with lube or lubrication. This means it has a thin liquid coating that provides a smoother and pain-free intercourse experience. Lubrication reduces the chances of breaking of condoms and makes the session comfortable for sensitive people. Water-based lubricants should be preferred for maximum protection and reduced risk.

Spermicide-coated condoms: These condoms contain a sperm-killing chemical named nonoxynol-9. These are better than the rest because these not only prevent sperm insertion but it also kills the sperm. But this might irritate the genitals of the user & increase the risk of HIV. This is why not many do use it.

Textured condoms: These are designed only to increase pleasure and make intercourse steamy. Ribbed and studded are some kinds of textured condoms that are available. You may try these to bring some change to your regular routine.


How to Use Condoms

Male condoms

  • Carefully take out the condom from the packaging.
  • Place it on your genital and unroll it down till the end.
  • After finishing intercourse, tightly hold the end of the condom and pull it out without leaving the base.
  • Remove and discard it.

Female condoms

  • Carefully take out the condom from the packaging.
  • Keep on foot on the chair or get into any other comfortable position.
  • Pinch the inner ring of the condom or fold it to make it small and appropriate for insertion.
  • Insert it slowly into the vagina.
  • This is similar to inserting a tampon.
  • Push it inside as far as it can go.
  • The outer ring of the condom will be hanging a little.
  • After finishing the intercourse, twist the outer ring and pull out the condom.
  • Discard it in the trash.

Advantages of male condoms

Some advantages of using condoms for men are:

  • These are reliable mediums of pregnancy prevention. Along with that, it also protects both partners against sexually transmitted diseases including HIV, gonorrhoea, chlamydia, etc.
  • These are to worn right before intercourse and no advance preparation is needed, unlike other birth control methods.
  • If used properly, these do not cause any side-effect.
  • These come in various sizes, shapes, textures and flavours to provide you maximal comfort and pleasure during the session.

Advantages of female condoms

  • Female condoms are equally effective in preventing pregnancies and STDs as male condoms.
  • This is needed to be used only during sex and no advance preparation is required.
  • There are no side-effects of using these.

Disadvantages of male condoms

  • Condoms do not seem pleasurable to some couples due to their texture or latex material.
  • Condoms do not tear easily but in rare cases, it may due to not wearing properly. This may cause unwanted pregnancy.
  • Material of condoms such as latex or spermicide-containing condoms may cause an allergic reaction in some people. If you face the same, consider buying one with plastic that is less likely to irritate your skin.

Disadvantages of female condoms

  • Condoms do not seem pleasurable to some couples. To avoid this, practice insertion a couple of hours before.
  • If not used properly, condoms may tear. In such a case, take an emergency contraception pill.
  • Since these are not easily available, they may be expensive.