Male Condoms

·         Complications With Method
·         Effectiveness
·         Health Risks and Side Effects
·         Premature Ejaculation
·         Promiscuity
·         Sexual Desire and Sexual Pleasure
·         Size of Penis
·         Who Can Use the Method
Myth: Complications With Method
Some clients who seek family planning incorrectly believe that male condoms can easily get lost in a woman’s vagina or uterus and can travel through a woman’s body, requiring surgery to get the condom out.
Studies indicate that a condom rarely slips off completely during intercourse. On average, about 2% of condoms break or slip off completely during sex, primarily because they are used incorrectly.Slippage during withdrawal can be minimized if the rim of the condom is held against the base of the penis during withdrawal after ejaculation. However, if a condom does slip, it will go no further than the woman’s vagina, where it can be easily retrieved, with no need for surgery. If a man notices a break or slip, he should tell his partner so that she can use emergency contraceptive pills if she wants.
Counseling Messages:
It is not possible for a condom to get lost in the uterus, as the vagina is a sort of tube that is "closed" on one end in which you have the cervix. The cervix has a very small hole through which sperm can ascend, but not a condom. The condom can slip into the vagina and, if this happens, you have to learn how to remove it. There is no need for a surgical procedure to remove the condom. If you can't remove it you can ask your partner to help you or you will have to see a health care provider to have it removed. This is not a reason to panic, but the slipped condom must be removed as soon as possible to prevent infection. If the condom slips, you should remember to use emergency contraception as soon as possible if the condom is the only contraceptive method that was used. (Argentina)
Condoms cannot enter the uterus or travel into the woman’s body. Condoms can get left in a woman’s vagina if the man has a poor erection and if the penis is not withdrawn from the vagina after ejaculation. Condom removal does not require surgery. It may require a vaginal examination using a speculum to visualize the condom before removal. It is also possible to remove the condom [with your fingers]. (Nigeria)
If a condom is not held when removing the penis from the vagina, it can get lost. But it does not disappear because the cervix is at the end of the vagina, where nothing can get through. Therefore, a woman can fetch the condom herself. (Austria)
Clients have many experiences losing their condoms in the vagina, but they can remove them easily. (Indonesia)
If a condom enters a woman's body, it can easily be recovered. There is no way possible that it can travel through her body. (Nigeria)
The condom can never go through the cervix to the womb and travel through a woman’s body. The condom stays inside the vagina if it slips off the penis. (The Netherlands)
These incidences do not happen very often, but a condom can slip [off] if not properly used. (Nigeria)
Myth: Effectiveness
Some men and women who seek family planning do not want to use male condoms because they incorrectly believe that condoms are not effective in preventing pregnancy or sexually transmitted infections, including HIV.
The male condom is a sheath, or covering, that fits over a man’s erect penis. It works by forming a barrier that keeps sperm out of the vagina, preventing pregnancy. It also keeps infections that are in semen, on the penis, or in the vagina from infecting the other partner. It is usually made of very thin latex rubber, although a minority are made of either animal tissue or polyurethane (plastic).
Condoms are the only contraceptive method that can protect against both pregnancy and sexually transmitted infections (STIs),including HIV transmission, when used for vaginal, oral, or anal sex. In order for condoms to be most effective they must be used correctly and consistently (with every act of sex). The risk of pregnancy or contracting sexually transmitted infections is greatest when condoms are not used correctly with every act of sex.
When used correctly and consistently, condoms are 98% effective in preventing pregnancy. This means that whenused consistently and correctly, about 2 of every 100 women whose partners use condoms become pregnant over the first year of use.
Condoms do not have holes that HIV can pass through. In fact, when used consistently and correctly, condom use prevents 80% to 95% of HIV transmission that would have occurred without condoms. Plastic condoms are expected to provide the same protection as latex condoms, but they have not been studied thoroughly.Condoms made from animal membrane DO NOT protect against HIV and other STIs.
On average, about 2% of condoms break or slip off completely during sex, primarily because they are used incorrectly. Used properly, condoms seldom break.
Lubrication helps avoid condom breakage. There are three ways to provide lubrication—natural vaginal secretions, adding a lubricant, or using condoms packaged with lubricant on them. Sometimes lubricants made of glycerine or silicone, which are safe to use with latex condoms, are available. Clean water and saliva also can be used for lubrication. Do not use products made with oil as they can damage latex condoms.
Counseling Messages:
Condoms are very effective if properly used. The condom must be taken out of the package with care to ensure that it is not broken or torn. Avoid rushing when putting on a condom, and be sure that the [erect] penis is well inserted into the condom. A condom must never be re-used. (Nigeria)
Unprotected intercourse through breakage and slippage of a condom depends on the skill level, experience, and motivation of the user. Thus, clients need to practice, practice and practice! (Singapore)
Take care to remove air before putting the condom on the penis. Any contraceptive device used has some chance of failure, but it is difficult to predict when failure will occur. Failure will occur if a method is not properly used. If you think there is a chance you might be pregnant, get a pregnancy test. (India)
The right way to use the condom is as soon as the man has an erection, not at the time of ejaculation. (Bahrain)
A condom certified with an “OK” seal (a quality seal for condoms guaranteeing that the condom meets the Euro-Standard), that neither tears or rolls up and is used before the expiration date, protects sufficiently against pregnancy as well as HIV/AIDS or other sexually transmitted infections. To prevent breaking or rolling up, it is essential to use the condom properly. It is also important to use only water-based lubricants, not oil-based lubricants such as glycerine. In no case should substances containing oil or grease be used, since these can break down the latex and make the condom porous. (Switzerland)
Condoms are the best method for dual protection. They prevent pregnancy, HIV/AIDS and STIs. Most condoms undergo a testing process to ensure this and that they are not porous. They have to be used correctly and consistently. (Malawi)
You have to believe that condoms can protect you from pregnancy or STIs and HIV/AIDS because condoms are made from latex and do not have any pores (small holes). That is how condoms prevent sperm from entering the vagina and genital fluids from coming into contact. (Indonesia)
The condom is effective in preventing STIs and HIV/AIDS. Problems arise only when it is used wrong. (Nigeria)
The condom is a very good method for both pregnancy and STI/HIV prevention. It is the only method which can prevent the transmission of STIs and AIDS. (Iran)
Condoms are effective in preventing pregnancy and STIs, including HIV, if properly used. However, it does not give 100% protection from pregnancy and prevention from sexually transmitted diseases. (Nigeria)
Condoms are proved to be very effective in preventing sexually transmitted diseases, including HIV. The condom use program launched by the Singapore Government decades ago has provided solid evidence and strong support for this. Condom failure (which is approximately 2%) is a result of the misuse and inconsistent use of condoms. (Thailand)
Myth: Health Risks and Side Effects
Some people incorrectly believe that using male condoms can cause side effects or health risks such as illness, infection, disease, or cancer in men and women.
There are no known serious short or long term side effects associated with the use of condoms.When a condom is used, ejaculation occurs as normal, so there is no sperm “back up.”There is no evidence that condoms cause cancer, either in men or women. In fact, the use of condoms may help protect against conditions caused by STIs including recurring pelvic inflammatory disease, cervical cancer, and infertility.
It is possible that a person may experience mild irritation in or around the vagina or penis or mild allergic reaction to a condom (itching, redness, rash, and/or swelling of genitals, groin, or thighs during or after condom use). Severe allergic reactions involve hives or rash over much of the body, dizziness, difficulty breathing, or loss of consciousness after coming in contact with latex. Both men and women can be allergic to latex and latex condoms. Allergy to latex is uncommon in the general population, and reports of mild allergic reactions to condoms are very rare. Severe allergic reactions to condoms are extremely rare.
Plastic condoms made of synthetic materials offer an alternative for individuals who are allergic or sensitive to latex. Plastic condoms are expected to provide the same protection as latex condoms, but they have not been studied as thoroughly. The United States Food and Drug Administration recommends that condoms made of plastic be used for protection from STIs, including HIV, only if a person cannot use latex condoms. Condoms made of animal skin such as lambskin (also called natural skin condoms) are not effective for preventing STIs, including HIV, however.
Counseling Messages:
In certain cases there can be allergies to the material that condoms are made of. If you have symptoms of being allergic to condoms you can try to use other types or brands of condoms. You should also get tested for other sexually transmitted diseases. (India)
Some people develop a rash as a reaction to the latex or to the lubricant on the condom and are advised to try another type of condom if they do. No cancers or illnesses are related to condom use. [Editor's Note: See Fact for information regarding effectiveness of synthetic condoms.] (Malawi)
If you get a rash after using a condom and it is the first time you have used a condom, you should see a doctor to be checked for STIs. If you get a rash every time your partner uses a condom, then you should also be checked for STIs and you may need to use another contraceptive method if you are allergic to the latex or lubricants. (Lao PDR)
It could be an allergic reaction from the rubber that causes rashes. [Be sure to see a doctor if you experience a rash.] (The Gambia)
Allergic reactions to the male condom may happen, but only in very rare cases. (The Netherlands)
The condom is made from latex and is lubricated, sometimes with spermicide, which is made with anti-toxic and anti-allergenic ingredients. It may irritate some people’s genitals if they are allergic to the latex or lubrication, but will not cause infections, complications or cancer. (Indonesia)
Use a condom with a different type of spermicide, which will minimize the reaction. If the reaction persists, see a doctor. (Singapore)
Myth: Premature Ejaculation
Some men and women incorrectly believe that male condoms constrict an erect penis, causing premature ejaculation.
Using a male condom does not cause premature ejaculation. On the contrary, condoms can help users maintain an erection longer and prevent premature ejaculation, especially when the placement of the condom on the penis is a routine part of sexual foreplay.
Counseling Messages:
You do not have to worry that a condom will constrict an erect penis because a condom is elastic and flexible, and it will not cause premature ejaculation. For some men, condoms can prolong ejaculation. (Indonesia)
Consider the male condom as part of the normal body without complex. It is the only way to protect ourselves from disease. (Central Africa Republic)
You have to think that using a condom is protecting yourself from different communicable diseases. So, you should think that your sexual partner will be really happy with you [for wanting to use a condom]. (Mongolia)
Condoms are an appropriate method for clients who have premature ejaculation and in many cases it can delay the ejaculation time. (Iran)
Myth: Promiscuity
Some men and women who seek family planning believe that male condoms encourage infidelity, promiscuity, or prostitution.
There is no evidence that condoms or other methods of contraception affect behavior. The evidence on contraception in general shows that sexual behavioris unrelated to contraceptive use. In fact, using contraception shows responsible behavior in order to avoid unintended pregnancy and sexually transmitted infections.
Counseling Messages:
No one can guarantee the behavior of another person, whether they use a condom or not. Infidelity and promiscuity can occur. Using a condom is the only way to protect against STIs and HIV, which could be present from previous relationships, but show no signs. (South Africa)
Condom availability does not encourage infidelity, promiscuity and prostitution. You can be unfaithful, promiscuous, or a prostitute even when there are no condoms. (Indonesia)
Condoms can protect us from getting serious diseases. We cannot control whether our partner is really faithful or not, but we can protect ourselves from infection by using condoms. (Lao PDR)
It is the behavior of the person and not the condom that makes a person take certain actions in their sexual activities. (Bahrain)
Condoms do not encourage promiscuity, infidelity, or prostitution. The desire for sex is not driven by the contraceptive method; rather, it is biologically driven. (Nigeria)
Condoms do not encourage promiscuity. People who want to be promiscuous will always be promiscuous whether they use a condom or not. (Nigeria)
If you have a condom it doesn’t mean that you should have an extra-marital affair to use it. You should be able to make a sound decision on who you want to have sex with. Self-control is always a priority. (Malawi)
Women and men who engage in prostitution do so for reasons other than condom use. (Nigeria)
Condom use should be embraced. Condoms help to plan a family, avoid STIs and unwanted pregnancy, and enable you to enjoy a fruitful and stress-free marriage. (Nigeria)
Condoms do not encourage infidelity; instead they prevent STIs. The best method of prevention is Abstain, Be Faithful, and use Condoms. (Nigeria)
The male condom is 98% effective in protecting people against STIs and HIV. Condoms do not encourage infidelity. It is better to choose prevention than death. (Central Africa Republic)
Sexual functions are normal and exist in all strata of society. Condoms are used to prevent disease and pregnancy. They help to improve the health of society. (India)
To be sexually active is a natural and healthy part of our development. It is great that you are sexually active and are protecting yourself from possible infection or unplanned pregnancy. Using condoms shows that you value your health and well-being. (Australia)
Condom use should be discussed by you and your partner at the beginning, and should be practiced consistently, even if you are only using condoms for birth control purposes. In this case, condoms are no longer a sign of infidelity or promiscuity, but are a sign of care and concern, especially for your partner, as you are sharing the responsibility of good sexual and reproductive health. (Thailand)
Each person is responsible for his or her actions, which do not depend on the contraceptive method they use. Infidelity, promiscuity, or prostitution are behaviors which could have a moral issue but are not encouraged at all by the use of a barrier method such as the condom, although it would be desirable that people in any of those situations would protect themselves with a condom. (Argentina)
Using a male condom does not encourage infidelity. Infidelity depends on how loyal you are to your partner. (Malaysia)
If someone is born to be unfaithful, promiscuous, or a prostitute it is not the condom that will make the person behave this way. (St. Lucia)
Myth: Sexual Desire and Sexual Pleasure
Some couples incorrectly believe that condom use decreases a man’s libido and can cause impotence or that condoms reduce or interfere with sexual pleasure.
There is no evidence to suggest that condom use causes impotence.Impotence has many causes. Some causes are physical, some are emotional. Condoms themselves do not cause impotence. A few men may have problems keeping an erection when using condoms, however. Other men, especially older men, may have difficulty keeping an erection because condoms can dull the sensation of having sex. Using more lubrication may help increase sensation for men using condoms.
Some couples become frustrated and lose some of their sexual excitement when they stop to put on a condom. Some men and women complain that the condom dulls sensation. However, manycouples learn to enjoy using condoms as part of their sexual foreplay. In fact, many women and men often say they have better sex when they use condoms, because they can focus on their sexual pleasure without the worry about unintended pregnancy and sexually transmitted infections (STIs).
A couple may wish to use either a textured, ultra thin, or transparent condom to increase stimulation. Pleasure may also be increased by lubricating the inside and outside of the condom with water-based lubricants. A drop or two of lubricant on the inside of the condom before it is unrolled can help increase the sensation of sex for some men. Too much lubricant inside, however, can make the condom slip off. Lubricants made of glycerine or silicone are safe to use with latex condoms. Clean water and saliva also can be used for lubrication. Do not use products made with oil as lubricants for latex condoms as they can damage latex.
Counseling Messages:
Using condoms may interfere with sexual pleasure, but the fear of STIs and pregnancy may interfere as well. If this happens, practice using condoms and try letting your partner help with the condom. The condom may help to postpone the orgasm and will increase the pleasure of making love. (The Netherlands)
If you don’t want a child and you want to be protected against STIs, certain precautions need to be taken and compromises made. The male condom is the simplest contraceptive that can be adopted and has many advantages. Many clients have used condoms successfully without interfering with their sexual desire and pleasure. (India)
Some couples complain of decreased sensitivity when using condoms, but this could be an advantage in prolonging sexual pleasure. A small loss of sensitivity is better than exposure to STIs and HIV. (South Africa)
Condoms do not reduce a man’s libido, but may interfere marginally with sexual pleasure. The benefits of dual protection far outweigh the interference with sexual pleasure. (Nigeria)
Condom use does not reduce libido. Your fear of getting infected or getting pregnant reduces libido or sexual pleasure. Using condoms can prevent infection and pregnancy. (Lao PDR)
With improved technology in condom production, the thickness of condoms has decreased. Now condoms are very thin and cannot interfere with sexual pleasure. There are more advantages of using condoms than disadvantages. (Iran)
Condoms available in the markets nowadays are made from latex, thus the layer is very thin. When you and your partner agree to use condoms, you can “practice” and make it part of your activity. You and your partner, however, have to be aware of the “don’ts” that may cut or tear condoms and cause infections. (Thailand)
In order to find an appropriate condom, it is very important to try different sizes and sorts. Modern condoms are very thin and should not influence the sexual feeling. If you have practice in using a condom, you and your partner can make the unrolling and taking off a lustful part of your foreplay. (Switzerland)
Look for condoms that are thin and well-lubricated or check out a few different kinds to find a brand that fits well and is comfortable for you. (Singapore)
The condom is necessary to prevent STIs and pregnancy. Also, today condoms are so thin that they do not interfere with or reduce sexual pleasure. (Denmark)
Many people believe [that condoms reduce sexual pleasure], but it is only a psychological issue. In fact, condoms do not reduce sexual pleasure because they are made of thin latex, which is like a second skin to the penis. Moreover, it is lubricated to enhance sexual pleasure and sensitivity. (Mauritius)
It may be true that the condom decreases the male’s sexual pleasure. But, on the other hand, using a condom may be incorporated into foreplay and may slow down the man’s ejaculation, thereby increasing pleasure. (Ireland)
Condoms do not cause impotency or a decrease in libido. Rather, in some instances, using condoms increases sexual pleasure and improves performance. The mind plays a greater role in sex than do physical parts, such as the penis. (India)
Condoms have never caused impotence. Rather, they enhance sexual performance by delaying orgasm and desires. Male condoms are very safe and useful. (Nigeria)
There are many causes for loss of libido and impotence, such as relationship problems or health problems (e.g., diabetes). Condoms can't be blamed for this. Look for other causes. (South Africa)
I understand that you may think that condoms can interfere with your sexual pleasure, but there are ways that you can increase sexual pleasure when using a condom. First, before putting the condom on, put some lubricant on your penis. Use lubricant again after the condom is on. This will increase your sensitivity. If you are concerned about the lack of or loss of pleasure, there are a number of sexual behaviors that you can engage in where a condom is not needed. These behaviors can be satisfying for both you and your partner. It is really important for you to continue using condoms to protect yourself from unplanned pregnancy or STIs. (Australia)
Most couples like condoms because they feel assured that they won’t have an unwanted pregnancy and it protects both partners from disease. Men who ask their partners to put the condom on them find more pleasure than without using the condom. Try it out and let me know whether you want to continue using male condoms or use another method. (Malaysia)
Condoms should be taken as a part of the sexual game. I encourage the female to put the condom on her partner as a part of this game. (Argentina)
Men, of course, feel the condom when they put it on, but no one feels it during penetration. (Austria)
Male condom use does not interfere with sexual pleasure if the time when you use the condom during intercourse is correct. (Malaysia)
If you use condoms correctly they do not interfere with sexual pleasure. (Lithuania)
This is not true, please practice using condoms and get experience. (Bangladesh)
When using a condom, you forget that you have a condom on your penis. Focus on what you are doing and you will get the same enjoyment. (St. Lucia)
The male condom does not influence the man’s libido or interfere with pleasure. You can use male condoms and have the same pleasure. (Central Africa Republic)
Condoms do not in any way cause impotence, but they do reduce sexual satisfaction by a negligible amount. When weighing the reduction in sexual satisfaction and the risk of not using it at all, it is better to use the condom. (Nigeria)
You should consider the risks and effects if a condom is not used. (Cyprus)
Would you prefer to have an STI or to get pregnant in exchange for just a few minutes of pleasure? I have used the condom and it does not reduce pleasure. It is in your mind. (Nigeria)
Myth: Size of Penis
Some men and women believe incorrectly that men who have a large penis will not be able to find a male condom that fits them properly.
There are many different kinds and brands of condoms that vary in features such as shape, size, color, lubrication, thickness, texture, and whether or not they are coated with spermicide.
Although there are considerable variations between the sizes of individual penises, there is no established market of different sized condoms, even in developed countries. Users should be advised to try different brands to find out which fits best. Condoms of 49mm width are readily available and are the preferred size for a smaller condom. Although there is no “standard” size for larger condoms, some manufacturers produce condoms of 56mm width.
Counseling Messages:
Condoms are made of latex, which allows the device to have the proper expansion needed. Thus, no size problems can exist with this method. (Argentina)
The male condom is made with plastic and is able to be used by everyone. Condoms are not difficult to use, even if you have a large penis or a smaller one. (Central Africa Republic)
Condoms are made to fit all penis sizes. They expand and can be used by anyone. When condoms are tested they can be filled with a lot of air or water and they expand very well. (South Africa)
Different sizes of condoms are available in the market, so you can look there for a variety of condoms. Condoms that have been tested for reliability, such as Gold Circle, are always recommended. (Nigeria)
Condoms are produced in different sizes. In Thailand, 49 is widely available in the markets. Recently size 52 has become available. Larger sizes, such as 54, are rare, but can be requested from certain sources. [Editors note: see Fact for information regarding condom width size.] (Thailand)
There are people who believe that because their penis is large they can't find a condom that will fit. Condoms are made from latex and are very stretchy, so they do fit properly. There is a wide variety of condoms and you should try different ones until you find ones you are comfortable using. (Australia)
Condoms can be divided into four categories: narrow, medium, large, and extra large. Be careful to watch out for this information when purchasing condoms. The large condoms have a nominal width of 56 to 60 mm. Of course, it is not only size that matters, but above all the right application of the condom. You’ll need some practice for that. Please read the leaflet for the correct application and use of the condom. If you have tested different sizes and have some practice in their application, you’ll certainly find the appropriate condom. (Switzerland)
Different types of condoms exist (extra small, extra large, etc.), but usually the standard condom fits to any size penis. (Austria)
The size of a condom adjusts to a male’s genital size, and some brands of condom have a “large” size that may be proper to use. (Indonesia)
Most condoms are one size because of the way they are made. They can stretch to fit any size penis. (Cyprus)
There are condoms available in all sizes and for every penis. (The Netherlands)
There are many types of condoms. You need to try different types. (Norway)
You can try buying large condoms. You should use condoms because they are necessary to prevent STIs and pregnancy. (Denmark)
If the condom slips off while making love, it is not because your husband's size is small. It is likely that he was "limp" when withdrawing or the condom was not properly worn all the way to the "balls." It must be really frustrating for you both and worse for him. I can assure you that it is not about condom size or his size. I have some suggestions. How do you feel about giving this doctor’s phone number to your husband so he can talk to a male doctor? Or, what about coming in together before next week? Or, I can introduce you to a friend who has used condoms for over ten years? (Malaysia)
If the condom slips off while making love, it is likely that he was not yet ready or that he needs to adjust how he wears a condom. You need to give him more confidence. Allow me to demonstrate on this model (model of penis and female reproductive organ). (Malaysia)
Myth: Who Can Use the Method
Some men and women do not want to use male condoms because they incorrectly believe that male condoms should be used ONLY by people in casual relationships, people who have extra marital sexual relations, or by people who have sex for money.
Condoms are an appropriate contraceptive method for anyone, regardless of marital status or sexual behavior, and should be provided to all individuals who request them. While many casual partners rely on condoms for STI protection, married couples all over the world use condoms for pregnancy protection too.
Counseling Messages:
Male condoms can be used by anyone because HIV/AIDS can attack married couples, commercial sex workers, or those who have extra-marital affairs. Male condoms can also be used by married couples as a family planning method. (Malawi)
While you are right to use condoms for extra-marital sexual relations to protect yourself from HIV/AIDS and STIs, you can also use condoms with your wife as a birth control method. (Cyprus)
Everyone should use condoms whether married or unmarried, especially those who have unsafe sexual relationships. (Indonesia)
Condoms can be used by everybody not only to prevent unplanned pregnancy, but also to protect against STIs and HIV. We never know who has STIs or HIV no matter how clean and beautiful or handsome they are. Besides abstaining from sex, condoms are the only tools that can prevent you and your partner from sexually transmitted infections. (Thailand)
Condoms can be used for dual protection against pregnancy and STIs by any male who is sexually active. (Nigeria)
Male condoms are used by all when necessary, especially during casual sex. Male condoms help to prevent unwanted pregnancy and STIs. (Nigeria)
Condoms are for all sexually active people because they help to prevent unwanted pregnancy and STIs, including HIV/AIDS. (The Gambia)
Condoms can be used by all sexually active males for the prevention of STIs, HIV, and pregnancy. The purpose of the condom is to put a barrier in between the male semen and the female vagina or ova. (India)
Condoms are not just for avoiding pregnancy among married couples, but also to avoid and reduce the transmission of disease if either one of the couple has an STI or HIV/AIDS. (Malaysia)
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