Male Condoms

Male condoms (external condoms) are a thin sheath of either latex or non-latex rubber that wrap snugly around the penis during sex. They can be used to prevent sexually transmissible infections (STIs) for vaginal, anal, and oral sex as well as on sex toys if they are being shared between people.

How do condoms reduce the risk of STIs?

Condoms work by stopping bodily fluids from passing between partners during sex, which greatly reduces the risk of STI transmission.

Condoms are the best protection against most STIs. However, there’s still a risk that some STIs that spread through skin-to-skin contact may still be passed on as the condom doesn’t cover the whole genital area.

Condoms can be used at the same time as another type of contraception that prevents pregnancy (such as the pill or implant), but only condoms provide protection against STIs.

How do you use a condom?

It’s important to know how to use a condom correctly as using them incorrectly can lead to condoms breaking, leaking, slipping off, or not working effectively. Many people make condom errors without realising, so have a practice applying condoms on yourself, a sex toy, or a penis shaped object so you can get the technique down pat. This goes for everyone – even if you don’t have a penis, it’s good to know how to use condoms correctly.

  • Check the expiry date.
  • Open the packet carefully – do not use teeth or scissors, and be aware of sharp fingernails.
  • Check the condom is the correct way up – it will look like a Mexican sombrero (hat).
  • Pinch the tip of the condom with one hand to remove air and make space for any cum (ejaculate).
  • While still pinched, place the condom on the tip of the erect (hard) penis (or sex toy) and then roll the condom down to the base of the penis with your other hand.
  • Apply some water-based lube on the outside of the condom if you like.
  • Now you’re ready for sex!
  • After sex, carefully withdraw the penis while it’s still hard, holding the base of the condom so it doesn’t spill or slip off.
  • Remove condom from penis.
  • Wrap condom in a tissue and put it in the bin.

Tips

  • Each condom can only be used once.
  • The condom needs to be put on an erect (hard) penis before any contact with the partner’s genitals, mouth or anus.
  • Two is not better than one – only use one condom at a time. Using two condoms at once can cause them both to break.
  • Condoms come in many brands, sizes, flavours and textures, so find some that are comfortable and enjoyable for you and your partner.
  • Use a new condom when changing between vaginal, anal and oral sex, or when sharing sex toys.
  • If the condom breaks during sex, get a sexual health check-up. If there is a risk of pregnancy, you may want to access emergency contraception

 Where can I find condoms?

Condoms are very easy to find and are available in supermarkets, chemists/pharmacies, petrol stations, online stores, sexual health and Family Planning clinics. Some youth centres even give them to young people for free!

With self-serve check-outs now in most supermarkets, there’s no excuse to say you’re too embarrassed to buy condoms. And really, there’s nothing to be embarrassed about – you’re having sex and being smart about it.

Female condoms

The female condom (internal condom) is a larger, looser version of a male condom, but rather than going on the penis, it’s inserted inside the vagina before sex. Female condoms are made from nitrile which makes them a good alternative for people allergic to latex.

How do female condoms reduce the risk of STIs?

Female condoms work like male condoms by stopping bodily fluids from passing between partners during sex.

Female condoms cover a larger area of the genitals during sex so they can provide more protection from skin-to-skin transmitted STIs (such as genital herpes and warts) than male condoms.

Female condoms can also be used at the same time as other types of contraception (such as the pill or implant), as only condoms can provide protection against STIs. However, do not use the female condom at the same time as a male condom as it will increase the chance of them both breaking.

How do you use a female condom?

A female (internal) condom is used quite differently to male condoms. Here’s a step-by-step guide:

To use a female condom for vaginal sex, usually the person with the vagina will insert the condom, however the partner can help if needed.

  • Check the expiry date.
  • Carefully open the packet – avoid using teeth or scissors.
  • Squeeze the sides of the ring which is inside the condom (inner ring) together.
  • Find a comfortable position (squat, lie down or raise a leg on a chair) and insert the ring into the vagina like a tampon.
  • Push the ring as far as it can go into the vagina using a finger, making sure the condom doesn’t become twisted.
  • The outer ring of the condom (open end) will sit on the outside of the vagina, around the vulva.
  • The condom is now in place.
  • During sex, make sure the penis (or sex toy) is guided correctly into the condom.
  • After sex, twist the outer ring to stop any cum (ejaculate) from spilling out, and then gently pull the condom out of the vagina.
  • Wrap the condom in a tissue and put it in the bin.

To use a female (internal) condom for anal sex:

  • Check the expiry date.
  • Carefully open the packet – avoid using teeth or scissors.
  • Remove the inner ring and throw away.
  • Place the condom over the penis or sex toy.
  • Apply water-based lube to the outside of the condom and to the partner’s anus.
  • You are now ready to have anal sex.
  • After sex, withdraw the penis or sex toy while holding the base of the condom so it doesn’t slip off.
  • Remove condom, wrap it in a tissue and put it in the bin.

Tips

  • Each female condom can only be used once.
  • A female condom should not be used together with a male condom.
  • Use a new female condom when changing between vaginal and anal sex.
  • If the female condom breaks during sex, get a sexual health check-up. If there is a risk of pregnancy, you may want to access emergency contraception

Where can I find female condoms?

Female (internal) condoms are available from online stores, at Family Planning clinics, some sexual health clinics, and some chemists / pharmacies.