The condom (condom) is a very thin rubber sheath, which is put over the stiff penis before sex. As the only contraceptive, it protects against sexually transmitted diseases and infections.
It is safer to use a condom: if used correctly, it prevents unwanted pregnancy quite reliably, even if there have been application errors when using other contraceptives (z.B. forgotten pill). In a condom, the ejaculation is caught and does not get into the vagina. Most condoms are made of natural rubber and contain latex – if you are allergic to latex, you can use latex-free condoms. There are also condoms in different sizes and widths for the perfect fit.
For whom is the condom suitable?
Condoms are useful for all sexually active people, regardless of whether they are heterosexual, homosexual or bisexual. It is the only contraceptive that, when used correctly, protects against sexually transmitted infections such as HIV, syphilis, gonorrhea or chlamydia without side effects and at the same time protects against unwanted pregnancies.
Important: After orgasm, the penis must be pulled out of the vagina before the erection subsides – so that the condom does not slip off and no semen escapes. When pulling out the condom, it is best to hold it at the base of the member.
It is also useful to use condoms if there has been an application error with a hormonal contraceptive (z.B. forgotten to take the pill) or. In case of diarrhea or vomiting after taking hormonal contraceptives.
Attention in case of latex allergy!
About 2 % of Austrians are affected by a latex allergy. Conventional condoms are usually made of latex. Drugstores, pharmacies and erotic retailers also offer latex-free condoms.
How safe are condoms?
The Pearl index of condoms is 2 to 12. That is, in different studies, 2 to 12 out of 100 women became pregnant over the course of a year despite using a condom. For comparison, the Pearl index of the pill is 0.1 to 0.9 (mini-pill is 0.14 to 3). Sexual intercourse without the use of contraceptives also has a Pearl index, it is 60 to 80.
The condom is the only contraceptive that can protect against sexually transmitted diseases:
ADVANTAGES OF THE CONDOM
DISADVANTAGES OF THE CONDOM
- The condom is the only contraceptive that protects against sexually transmitted infections
such as HIV, herpes, syphilis, gonorrhea, chlamydia, and trichomonas, and in case of
correct use also before pregnancy
- Has no side effects
- Is available without prescription
- Does not interfere with hormonal balance
- Use during breastfeeding without any problems
- A condom is only safe if used correctly
- Users must think about contraception immediately before each sexual contact
- Some people find condoms annoying during sex
Sharp fingernails or other pointed objects should not come into contact with the condom. Tearing open the wrapper with your teeth is also taboo. This could cause a small tear or hole in the condom and the contraceptive effect is then no longer given. Since mistakes are often made during use, it is a good idea to put the condom on before the "first time" to practice (z.B. on your own penis or on an object similar to a penis).
Put on the condom: Here’s how
If you have taken the condom carefully out of the package, it can be pulled over the penis. To do this, hold it by the upper end, where there is a small reservoir for the sperm. You squeeze this reservoir with your thumb and forefinger (this causes the air to escape and it becomes "roomy created for the sperm to be absorbed), with the other hand form a ring with your thumb and forefinger and carefully slip the condom over the stiff penis.
Make sure to unroll the condom from the right side. If you have used it the wrong way, do not simply turn it over – it could already have come into contact with semen, a pregnancy could be the result. Therefore, use a new one.
After ejaculation, make sure you hold the condom tight when you pull the penis out of the vagina. The seminal fluid should not come into contact with the vagina.
A condom must never be used twice, but belongs in the trash can after sex. Do not throw the used and knotted condom into the toilet for the sake of the environment. What else to consider:
- Never use 2 condoms at once. Friction could cause holes.
- If you use a lubricant, use only water-soluble, fat-free lubricants or a silicone gel. Lubricants that contain grease (z.B. Vaseline, creams, lotions or oil) can damage the condom.
- The use of chemical contraceptives (z.B. Vaginal suppositories or foam) together with a condom should be avoided. The condom could become porous and permeable due to the ingredients of these substances. Thus, the condom no longer protects against sexually transmitted diseases.
- Medications such as vaginal suppositories used to treat a fungal infection of the vagina can also damage the condom.
Condom broken: What to do?
If the condom has broken or slipped off, the sexual partners usually notice this immediately, but at the latest after sexual intercourse. If you are not using another contraceptive in the current cycle, you could become pregnant. For such cases there is the so-called morning-after pill. It is available in Austria without a prescription at pharmacies and, depending on the active ingredient, must be taken no later than 120 hours after the contraceptive breakdown.
If you suspect that HIV has been transmitted, contact an AIDS help center in your area or a specialized hospital as soon as possible. There you will get information about the risk of infection and all other open questions. You can also find out about post-exposure prophylaxis. This is a therapy that should be started at the latest 48 hours after sexual contact and continued for 4 weeks. The risk of infection can be significantly reduced this way. However, as this therapy is associated with considerable side effects, it is by no means an alternative to safer sex!
What to look for when buying?
Not all condoms are the same! There are some things you should keep in mind when buying condoms. Only the right condom offers protection against pregnancy or sexually transmitted diseases:
It’s the size that counts
When buying a condom, make sure it is the right size, this makes it easier to put on. The condom should not be too tight or too wide.
The right size is important for 2 reasons
- If the condom is too big, it can slip off the penis during lovemaking.
- If the condom is too small, it is difficult to put it on. In addition, it can be difficult to maintain an erection with a condom that is too tight.
Even condoms have an expiration date. Therefore, when buying, pay attention to the expiration date. Condoms should also be kept away from heat, friction and pressure and stored in a cool, dry place. The purse is not the right place for permanent storage of the condom.
Quality condoms have a CE mark (CE + number added) printed on the packaging. In the EU, condoms are considered medical devices and are therefore subject to legal regulations. Therefore, do not use condoms without CE marking.
Is the condom wrapper tight?
By the so-called "finger test (press the packed condom between thumb and index finger a little bit to feel the air cushion) you can see if the condom sheath is damaged – if there are small tears or damages, the condom can dry out and become porous as well. In all these cases, be sure to use a new condom.
Where to buy?
It is best not to buy condoms from a vending machine. The expiration date could be exceeded. But temperature changes can also make condoms brittle.
Therefore, you should only buy condoms in a pharmacy, drugstore or erotic shop.
Even with condoms that z.B. are distributed at festivals, these criteria should be observed. It is also always important to make sure that the packaging has not been damaged.
The cost of a condom is approximately between 50 cents to 1 euro per piece.