Here at Balls, we've no problem telling you what the best practices are when it comes to your sexual health.
There are a lot of options when it comes to contraception, which should be discussed with your sexual partner.
However, we're going to focus on condoms here to ensure that you know the advantages and how you use them correctly.
The Advantages of Using Condoms
Condoms are the only contraceptive that can protect you from sexually transmitted infections (STIs), but there are a number of other advantages for using condoms. If you use a condom correctly, they are 98 percent effective.
Here are some of the other advantages when using condoms:
- Condoms are widely available for sale without a prescription.
- Allows both partners to take responsibility for contraception.
- Condoms can be used with other methods of contraception to practise safer sex and prevent unplanned pregnancy and STIs.
- They have no medical side effects.
However, if condoms are not used correctly, it decreases their effectiveness.
Here's a step-by-step guide to make sure you use condoms correctly. Believe us, it’s worth a read!:
Buying and Storing Condoms
- Check the expiry date and make sure they have a quality standard mark such as the Kite mark or CE mark.
- Choose polyurethane condoms if you have a latex allergy. They are easily available.
- Store condoms in a cool, dry place. Don’t keep them in your wallet or your trouser pocket for a long time.
The Dos and Don’ts of Using Condoms
- Push the condom away from where you are tearing the packet. Take the condom out, taking care not to tear the condom.
- Hold the teat at the end of the condom between your finger and thumb to make sure it goes on the right way round and that there is no air trapped inside.
- Still holding the teat, place the condom over the tip of the erect penis.
- Gently roll the condom down to the base of the penis.
- If the condom will not unroll, you are probably holding it the wrong way round. If this happens, throw the condom away, as it may have sperm on it, and start with a new condom.
- After sex, withdraw the penis while it is still erect. As you do this, hold the condom at the base of the penis to make sure it does not come off.
- Remove the condom from the penis, being careful not to spill any semen, wrap it in tissue and put it in the bin.
- Make sure your (or your partner’s) penis does not touch the genital area again and, if you have sex again, use a new condom. A condom is for single use only.
- Don’t handle condoms roughly or use an oil-based lubricant like Vaseline.
- Do not open the packet with your teeth.
- Don’t use two condoms together- there is more chance they’ll tear
- Don’t reuse condoms
- Do not flush condoms down the toilet.
- Don’t use condoms which are past their expiry date
As a bonus, Brazilian legend and Ballon D'Or winner Ronaldinho once released a condom line whilst he was on the books of Brazilian side Atletico Miniero. A brilliant footballer AND an advocate for sexual health, the man's a hero.
Our friends over at College Times have written a guide on other forms of contraception that you and your partner can use which can be read here.
Remember - if for any reason, your contraception fails, you or your partner could be at risk of an unplanned pregnancy.
However, emergency contraception is available without prescription (and is free for medical card holders) from your local pharmacy for up to five days (120 hours) after unprotected sex.
Emergency contraception does not provide any protection against STIs.
For more information on contraception choices, visit here https://www.sexualwellbeing.ie/sexual-health/contraception/your-choices/