Where will I get condoms?
You can buy condoms at most drug stores, some supermarkets, and at family planning clinics. Sometimes condoms are sold in vending machines at bars or public toilets. Sometimes health clinics will give you condoms free of charge.
There are many types of condoms. All you’ve got to do is go in and ask you your favourite condoms brands and best condom size that fits you.
I am embarrassed to ask
The taboo around everything to do with sex can make this process somewhat awkward, especially if you’re new at this or are buying your first pack. Just shed the inhibitions. Maybe ask by the name of your favourite condom brands? Neither the salesperson nor other buyers in the store will judge you for it. And even if they do, why care! If anything, you should be proud of making a responsible choice.
Which condoms to buy?
There are many types of condoms. Now, comes the tricky part of which condoms to buy. There are so many condom brands and many condom sizes. They come in different types – regular, extra thin, ribbed, dotted, long lasting and many, many more. The more exotic the name, higher the chances of it having been enhanced with some lubricants or other materials.
The dotted and ribbed ones, for instance, are known to cause extra friction, which may cause discomfort to some women. Similarly, a lot of people are allergic to latex, which is the most common material used for making condoms. If that applies to you or your partner, look for ones made of nitrile or other materials.
Among various types of condoms, the safest bet always is to choose a regular condom, sans any performance enhancing abilities, to begin with. If you and your partner feel comfortable with the idea, you can experiment with more features as you go along. With experience you will also know your own condom size.
How much do they cost?
In India, a pack of condoms (which has 12 condoms) costs anywhere between INR 90 to 100. They prices may vary significantly for various condom brands and condom size and types of condoms. But often you can get them free from family planning clinics.
How often do I have to use a condom?
Simple - every time you have sex!
How do I take care of my condoms?
Store condoms in a cool, dry place. Avoid keeping them in a back pocket, wallet, or glove compartment for long periods because the heat could damage them.
Use water-based lubricants with latex condoms. Safe lubricants for all condoms:
- K-Y lubricating jelly
- Silicone lubricant
Unsafe lubricant for latex condoms include baby oil, butter, cream, body lotions, massage oil, mineral oil, Vaseline (petroleum jelly), rubbing alcohol, suntan lotions, certain kinds of yeast infection creams, cooking oil - and whipped cream!
Where to store condoms?
Condoms must be stored in cool, dry places. The temperature should not be too hot. With that in mind, here are some dos and don’ts for condom storage:
- Do not store them in wallets. Chances are that you may keep the condom in your wallet and forget about it till the expiry date!
- Do not store them in the glove box of your car either, because those places tend to heat up a lot.
- Use a ‘first in, first out’ policy – meaning you use the ones you bought first, provided they are not past their expiration date, and then move on to newer stash.
- At home, you can store them in toiletry bags, sock drawers, and any empty case or bag you have lying around the house.
- In case you’re travelling, pack them in a side pocket of your bag away from sharp objects.
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