How to use a condom

Condoms are a barrier method of contraception –  they prevent the transfer of bodily fluids.

A barrier method of contraception uses a physical barrier to prevent the sperm from getting to the egg. It also prevents body fluids (semen, vaginal fluid…) from being transferred between sexual partners, and so helps to protect against most STIs. The male condom is the most common type of barrier method of contraception. A condom is a thin, flexible piece of material (which looks a bit like a balloon), which is usually made of latex, but non-latex options are also available.

It is placed over the erect penis and is worn for the duration of intercourse. There is a small reservoir at the top of the condom where the semen is held after ejaculation. This prevents the semen entering the vagina, and then the cervix to fertilise an egg. Condoms do not only prevent pregnancy – because they prevent the transfer of bodily fluids, they are effective at preventing the spread of STIs. STIs can be passed from person to person not only through vaginal sex, but also anal and oral sex. No matter what sexual act you are taking part in, it is always a good idea to use a condom! Flavoured condoms are designed for oral sex, and come in every flavour you can imagine! Flavoured condoms should never be used for vaginal or anal sex.

They are over 99% effective at preventing pregnancy and the spread of STIs with careful and consistent use.

Condoms are available to purchase at pharmacies and most supermarkets, and on reputable websites. AIDS West also provide free condoms to the public from our offices in Galway city.