Abstinence is the only 100% effective way to prevent pregnancy and STDs. If you choose to have sex, condoms are the only method that protects against pregnancy AND STDs! That is why it is smart to use a condom every time you have sex. Do you know how to use a condom correctly? End 2019 with a gift to yourself- protection! Find free condoms and learn how to use them correctly:
Picking a condom:
Condoms come in lots of colors and textures these days but all condoms, even if they are free, are effective! Just remember, they should be made of plastic or latex because animal skin condoms do not protect against STDs, only pregnancy.
Condom packages show an expiration date. If a condom is past the date, or looks dry, brittle, stiff, or sticky, it shouldn't be used. Keeping a few spares on hand is a good idea in case one rips while being put on. Condoms, like bags of chips, have an air bubble. Push the condom to the side and see if you can feel an air bubble. This is a good way to know that the package does not have any small holes in it.
Handling a condom
Condoms should be stored in a cool, dry place to prevent breakage or leakage. To open, the package should be torn gently on the side (not with teeth or scissors, which could tear the condom itself) and pulled out slowly.
Using condoms with other forms of birth control
Many people also use an additional form of birth control, such as the Pill, IUD, or implant in addition to the condom. These methods of birth control do not protect against STDs so it is always a good idea to use a condom. Condoms can be used with other methods of birth control but two condoms should never be used together- even if one is a male/external condom and one is a female/internal condom.
Some people are allergic to latex. Before you use these products, try them on an area of your skin to see if you react to them. If someone is allergic to latex, there are many other types of condoms they can use! Just remember, animal skin condoms should not be used because they do not protect against STDs.
Putting a condom on correctly
The condom should be put on before intercourse begins. Make sure a condom is going on the right way. The rolls of the condom should be on the outside like a hat, if the rolls are on the inside, the condom will not be able to roll down. If someone accidentally puts a condom on the wrong way, that’s ok! Just be sure to throw it away and grab another one. Flipping the condom over will make the condom less effective. The rolled condom should be placed over the head of the penis after it is hard and erect, leaving a half-inch of space at the tip to collect semen. (Pinching the air out of the tip with thumb and forefinger can help to prevent breakage). Next the condom should be unrolled over the entire length of the penis down to the base, smoothing out any air bubbles. The condom should fit snugly and not look like it will slide off during intercourse.
Removing a condom
Immediately after ejaculation, the penis should be withdrawn slowly before it softens. The base of the condom should be held against the penis to avoid spilling the semen as it's withdrawn. The condom should be wrapped in tissue and thrown away. Remember, condoms are one time use only!
Choosing the right lubricant
Using a pre-lubricated condom, or applying a water-based lubricant-such as K-Y jelly or Astroglide-inside and outside the condom can help prevent rips. Oil-based lubricants (like Vaseline, body lotions, coconut or vegetable oils, and food products) should not be used because they can cause the condom to dissolve.
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“This blog was reposted from Teensource.org, a project of Essential Access Health. TeenSource.org is an online hub for comprehensive and teen-friendly information on birth control, STDs, relationships and teen’s rights to accessing sensitive services. The site features youth-developed blogs and videos, a clinic finder, a Condom Access Project and links to TeenSource social media where youth can stay updated on relevant sexual and reproductive health information and news.”