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Male condoms

Male condoms are designed to fit snugly over an erect penis and stop a man’s semen from coming into contact with his sexual partner. When used safely during anal and oral sex, they help to protect against sexually transmitted infections (STIs). When used safely during vaginal sex, they help to protect against pregnancy and STIs.

Choose the right condom

There are many different condoms to choose from, including longer, shorter, wider and narrower ones.

Your/your partner’s condom needs to fit comfortably because if it’s too tight it can make sex uncomfortable or interfere with maintaining an erection. If it’s too large it can fall off during sex, and if you don’t like the texture, you will always find an excuse not to use it.

Once you work out which size, make and material is the best for you and your partner, sex will be safer, more relaxed and more enjoyable.

Always use condoms that have a British kite mark or CE approval on the wrapper. Keep condoms away from very hot temperatures and make sure the packet isn’t damaged.

Condoms are either made from late (rubber) or non-latex material. If you or your partner has a latex allergy you will need to choose non-latex condoms.

Using a male condom

It takes a bit of practice to get used to using a condom. If both you and your partner are confident in using condoms, it can become a positive part of your sexual experience rather than an unwelcome interruption.

  • The condom should be put on when the penis is erect (hard) and before it comes into very close contact with the partner’s mouth or genitals.
  • Carefully open the foil packaging, taking care not to tear the condom.
  • Pinch the tip of the condom between your thumb and index finger to make sure that no air is trapped inside (the condom is likely to split if air is trapped inside).
  • Still pinching the top, place the condom over the tip of the penis and carefully roll all the way down.
  • If the condom will not unroll easily, check if it is inside out. If it is, start again with a new condom as there may be sperm on it.
  • Be sure that the condom stays in place while you are having sex. If it comes off, stop and put on a new one.
  • You made need to put on a new condom if you are having sex for more than 30 minutes as they do become fragile.
  • Be careful when withdrawing after ejaculation (when the man has come). Hold the condom in place and carefully withdraw while the penis is still hard to avoid the condom slipping off.
  • Wrap the used condom in a tissue and put it in the bin. Do not flush condoms down the toilet as it can cause blockages and environment damage.