the simplest yet most effective method you can use to protect yourself not just
against unintended pregnancy, but also against a variety of sexually
transmitted infections (STIs).
A condom is
a flexible pouch made of rubber or plastic which acts as a physical barrier
that stops bodily fluids, including semen, vaginal fluids and blood, from
passing from one person to another during sex. Condoms are cheap, easy to use
and available for sale at pharmacies, supermarkets and convenience stores. You
may be able to get free condoms from your local clinic or hospital. While
abstinence (not having any sex at all) is, of course, the only way that is
guaranteed to be 100 percent safe, condoms offer by far the best protection for
anyone who is sexually active and wants to practice safer sex. Condoms are
highly effective against the most dangerous STIs, including HIV, the virus that
causes Aids. Scientists have shown that using a condom during sex means that
you are about 10 000 times less likely to contract HIV than you would be
if you had sex without one. Condoms are
also very successful against other STIs, such as chlamydia, gonorrhoea,
trichomoniasis, genital herpes and syphilis, and they have been linked with a
lower rate of cervical cancer, a disease that is associated with the sexually
transmitted human papilloma virus and the genital warts it produces. Surveys
have shown that people who use condoms find their sexual experiences just as
enjoyable as those who don’t.
HOW TO USE
For them to
be effective, it is crucial that you use condoms consistently and correctly:
¯ Make sure that you choose the right kind of condom. Pick condoms made
of latex (rubber), or, if you are allergic or sensitive to latex, a plastic
called polyurethane. Do not use ‘natural’ (sheepskin) condoms as they will not
protect you against STIs.
¯ Condoms have a shelf life and never use an expired condom.
¯ You should always use a condom that is big enough to cover the erect
(hard) manhood completely.
BREAK A CONDOM
¯ It’s best to keep
condoms in a dry, cool place out of direct sunlight, such as a drawer in a
¯ You must never re-use a condom.
¯ It’s a good idea
to use a lubricant together with a condom, but be sure to only apply
water-based lubricants and never ones that are oil-based, such as Vaseline,
baby oil, hand or body lotions as these products will weaken and break the
¯ Open the condom sachet carefully. Don’t use sharp fingernails, scissors, teeth or other pointy objects.
¯ If the condom feels sticky, brittle or looks discoloured, use a new
¯ Gently pinch the tip of the condom between the thumb and index finger
of one hand, place it against the manhood and use your other hand to unroll it
all the way to the base. Keep pinching the tip to leave a space for semen to
ejaculation and before the manhood gets soft, grip the rim of the condom at the
base of the manhood firmly and withdraw. Once the manhood is withdrawn, pull
off the used condom being cautious not to allow any semen to spill out. Tie off
the open end with a knot to prevent spillage, wrap the condom in a tissue and
throw it into a garbage bin where other people will not come into contact with
it. Do not throw used condoms into the toilet. Wash your hands with soap and