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CONTRACEPTION

CONDOMS

Male Condom

What is a Condom ?
Condoms are contraceptive sheaths meant to cover the penis during coitus to prevent pregnancy.
A condom is a narrow tube usually made of natural rubber latex, which is closed at one end. Most condoms have a teat at the end, which holds semen once the man has ejaculated. Male condoms are available in a variety of types: plain, coloured, ribbed, flavoured, shaped and even glow in the dark.

How does it work?
The condom should be put on by unrolling it on to the erect penis before there is any contact between the male and female organs. The teat should be emptied by squeezing the tip by holding up before unrolling for better full collection of semen after ejaculation. A pre-lubricated condom is preferable.

 Avoid doing this

  • Don’t use Vaseline, oils, skin lotions, cold creams, butter or margarine.
  • Unroll before placing it on the Penis
  • Don't use Vaseline, oils, skin lotions, cold creams, butter or margarine with condoms
  • Condoms shouldn’t be reused.

How reliable is it?
Used correctly according to manufacturer’s instructions, condoms can be 98% reliable at protecting from unwanted pregnancies. However, with less careful use, this can fall to 85%.

How you can improve its effectiveness?

  • Should be unrolled on erect penis before there is any contact between male and female organs.
  • A dose of spermicidal cream, jelly or foam tablet may be used at the same time.
  • Soon after ejaculation, the male should withdraw the penis holding the condom firmly against his body.
  • The condom should be thrown away and the penis dried before further contact with the female’s genital area.

Where can I get male condoms?
Condoms are probably the most widely available forms of contraception. You can get a limited supply free from Family Planning clinics or buy them from pharmacies or mail order. Many other places sell them such as petrol stations, local shops and supermarkets.

Advantages of Condoms

  • Available on shelves without any medical prescription.
  • Most harmless method of contraception.
  • Best protection against sexually transmitted diseases and AIDS (HIV infection).
  • Most suitable for couples having infrequent coitus, during lactation (breast-feeding), during holidays, for teenagers particularly to prevent unwanted pregnancies.
  • Condom use during pregnancy, particularly in the later months, gives some protection against amniotic fluid infection.
  • Doesn’t require any special training.

Disadvantages of the condoms

  • Allergy to the latex material or spermicidal agents.
  • Condoms can split. This risk can be removed by removing sharp rings and jewelry which can damage the condoms
  • If not used correctly and consistently, the failure rate are higher
  • May reduce the spontaneity of sex. To avoid this you or partner can include putting a condom as part of fore play

Availability of condoms

  • Medical stores, General stores
  • Family Planning centers hospitals.


Female Condom

What is a female condom?
A female condom is a tube of very thin rubber or polyurethane plastic, which is pre-lubricated with a silicone base. It is closed at one end and has two flexible rings. The loose inner ring fits inside the vagina and the fixed outer ring stays flat on the outside of the vagina. Female condoms are known as Femidom (UK) and Reality (US) Femshield (India)

How does it work?
It works by gently lining the inside of the vagina and the area just outside and stops sperms from entering the vagina. To remove after intercourse, simply twist the outer ring to hold the semen and gently pull the female condom out.

Advantages of female condom

  • Female oriented condom.
  • It can be used with oil based lubricants, such as body oils, lotions and petroleum jelly, unlike Male condoms should not be used with an oil based lubricant.
  • It helps protect you from sexually transmitted diseases (STD’s) and HIV.
  • The female condom is pre-lubricated with spermicidal jelly to make it easier to use.
  • It may be put in any time before sex.
  • It may protect against cervical cancer.

What are the disadvantages and common side effects?

  • They can be tricky to use at first, but practice makes the use perfect.
  • The inner ring is quite uncomfortable and can slide down if you do not fit it properly.
  • They can be quite expensive and not all Family Planning Clinics or Genito-urinary Medicine (G.U.M.) have them for free.
  • It can slip out.
  • They are more expensive and not easily available than male condoms.

Failure rate
Female condoms are 95% reliable if used according to manufacturer’s instructions.

Where can you get female condoms?
You can buy them in pharmacies, mail order and some supermarkets, pubs, clubs and petrol stations.

(Not yet freely available in India)

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