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A condom is a latex sheath that covers the male partner’s penis. A new condom must be used with each intercourse. They are easy to use, inexpensive and easily purchased at drug stores and grocery stores.
How Does It Work?
Condoms are placed over the man’s penis before intercourse begins. Condoms work by preventing sperm from entering the woman’s vagina. Before, during and after ejaculation sperm are collected inside the condom.
When used correctly, couples using condoms will have about 2 pregnancies per 100 couples per year. In practice, there will be about 15 pregnancies per year for every100 couples using only condoms for birth control. The effectiveness is greatly improved if couples use condoms with one of the spermicides discussed elsewhere under Birth Control.
Among the condoms advantages are that they are:
Of all the birth control methods, only condoms are effective in preventing sexually transmitted diseases including HIV-AIDS.
There are few disadvantages to the condom. Care must be taken during withdrawal so that they do not slide off. Also, they can break if not put on properly. This can lead to sperm entering the woman’s vagina.
Some men believe that condoms reduce sensitivity but others believe that they reduce premature ejaculaton.
Couples should not use latex condoms if the man or woman is allergic to latex. They should use non-latex condoms to prevent a painful rash or allergic reaction. Condoms are the only form of birth control that can prevent sexually transmitted diseases including HIV-AIDS.