Clinical Reference Systems: Pediatric Advisor 10.0
A condom, also called a rubber, is a thin, disposable
covering, usually made of strong rubber or latex, that fits
snugly over an erect penis. It acts as a barrier that stops
sperm from entering the vagina. Condoms are used to
protect both partners from sexually transmitted diseases
(including AIDS) and to prevent pregnancy. They are the
second most widely used method of birth control in the U.S.
today. (Birth control pills are the most widely used
INSTRUCTIONS FOR USING CONDOMS
Follow these instructions when you use a condom for birth
- Use only latex condoms. Condoms made of natural skin may
allow some viruses to pass through (such as the AIDS
virus or hepatitis virus).
- Unroll a fresh condom (while pinching its reservoir tip)
over the erect penis before any sexual contact.
- Leave the small end (reservoir) loose at the tip of the
condom. At the time of ejaculation, the semen that
comes out of the penis is caught in the end of the
condom. This stops the semen from going into the vagina.
- Remove the penis from the vagina soon after ejaculation.
The condom could easily slip off as the erection lessens.
If the condom slips off, sperm might escape into the
vagina. Before the penis is pulled out of the vagina,
hold the rim of the condom firmly to prevent the condom
from coming off in the vagina and spilling the semen.
- Use a new condom each time you have sexual contact. This
is very important.
ADVANTAGES AND DISADVANTAGES OF CONDOMS
- Condoms are 90 percent reliable in preventing
pregnancy. When used with a vaginal spermicide (a
cream, foam, or gel), their effectiveness increases to
95 percent. Spermicidal condoms (Ramses Extra) are
available; these have the spermicide included with the
- Condoms are the best contraceptive available that also
helps prevent the spread of sexually transmitted
- Condoms are a relatively inexpensive form of birth
- Condoms are widely available to anyone. They can be
bought without a prescription at your local drug or
- Condoms and vaginal spermicides used together are the
best nonprescription form of birth control available
A condom must be put on the penis BEFORE any genital
contact. If both you and your partner are not able to
exercise this willpower EVERY time, this is not a good
form of birth control for you. Even if you forget just
one time, you could get pregnant.
MALE RESPONSIBILITY FOR BIRTH CONTROL
Condoms are the only contraceptive that allows the male
partner responsibility for birth control instead of the
Never assume your partner is using some form of birth
control; if you don't know, ask her. If she isn't using
birth control, use a condom. Even if she is using birth
control, condoms are the only method that provides good
protection against infections. Use a condom to protect
against disease even if your partner is using another method
of birth control.
The best relationships are based on good communication. If
you and your partner haven't spoken seriously yet about your
relationship, now is the perfect time to start. Making
babies is easy, but raising them is one of life's most
difficult challenges. Think about it.
CALL YOUR PHYSICIAN DURING OFFICE HOURS IF:
- If you have any questions or concerns.