A condom is a thin rubber sheath used during sex to reduce the chance of pregnancy and the transferal of STD’s from occurring. There are condoms that can be used by both males and females and both work in the same way by preventing semen from entering the vagina. Although female condoms aren’t very popular, male condoms are the most common form of contraception used in Ireland.
When used correctly, the male condom is 98% effective and the female condom is 95% effective. It’s important to ensure proper use though, as they can tear or slip off more often than you’d think. Reading the instruction leaflet before you use them can prevent these mishaps and will put your mind at ease. Condoms should be teamed with all other types of contraception, as they are the only type that protect both partners against STD’s.
There are many advantages of using condoms as a form of contraception. They’re relatively simple to use and they’re easy to obtain with pharmacies and even some supermarkets selling them. They can be purchased on campus in many colleges and universities, which can relieve the said “embarrassment” of buying them in a store.
Condoms are also a non-hormonal form of contraception, which means they don’t have the side effects of many other birth control methods and makes them a strong favourite among students.
As with everything, condoms have their disadvantages too. They can tear or slip off if not used properly, which can lead to STD transferal as well as unplanned pregnancy. Checking the use-by date on them is crucial to avoid this.
Some people are also allergic to latex, which is what condoms are made of, and this can put them off using them. However there are alternatives if you happen to be allergic, such as condoms made from polyurethane or polyisoprene. Some people also complain about having to pause before intercourse to put on the condom, which is something that just can’t be avoided when using them as your main source of protection.
No method of contraception is 100% effective and it’s important to remember this when you’re planning on having sex. I am not a doctor or trained medical professional, so for any worries or clarification don’t be afraid to make an appointment in your local doctor’s office.
Photo: Rorro Navia/ Flickr