(There are also female condoms that go inside the vagina, but here we're talking about male condoms.) Condoms come in different sizes, styles and shapes. Condoms can be made out of latex, polyurethane, or lambskin. You can get them lubricated or unlubricated. Sometimes they contain spermicide. You can also get flavoured, coloured, or ribbed condoms.
What happens if my condom breaks?
Sometimes condoms break. This can happen if the condom doesn’t fit properly or just because of bad luck.
Luckily this hardly ever happens. If used properly, on average latex condoms only break four times out of every 1000. Polyurethane condoms break four times out of 100.
If a condom breaks, it’s less effective at preventing pregnancy and STDs.
If this happens to you, pull out quickly and replace it. If a condom breaks and any fluid could have got inside the vagina, think about using emergency contraception.
Emergency contraception - the 'morning after pill' - can prevent pregnancy up to five days after having sex. The sooner you take it, the better it will work.
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
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!