Using condoms is safe and easy. No office visit is needed. Male and female condoms are for sale in stores. You do not need a prescription. Many women and men say they have better sexual experiences when using condoms. There is a lowered chance of getting STDs. They also have a lowered chance of an unplanned pregnancy. Condoms are made of many materials. Latex is the most common. There are also condoms made of materials for people who are allergic to latex. These condoms are often made of polyurethane. They are thinner and may add to sensation during sex. Both of these will help give protection from pregnancy and STDs. Lambskin or sheep skin condoms are sometimes called natural condoms. They are made from lamb's intestines. While they will help prevent pregnancy, they do not prevent the spread of STDs. Male condom: A male condom is a thin covering rolled over the erect penis just before sexual contact. Some condoms have a nipple at the closed end to hold the sperm. Others may have a round shape at the end. If there is no nipple at the tip, leave a half-inch space to collect the fluid at the end of the condom. This covering stops the fluid (semen) that contains sperm from going in the vagina. This helps to prevent women from getting pregnant. Condoms are also a good way to help protect a man and his partner from STDs. Condoms come in many shapes, sizes, colors, and flavors. Size − The standard size will fit most men. There are also sizes that are a little smaller or larger that can be used. If you choose a condom that is too large, it is more likely to slip off. A condom that is too small is more likely to break. Thickness − There are extra-strength condoms that can be used. These are stronger and do not break easily. You can also buy extra thin condoms. Lubrication − Many condoms have some kind of lubrication. This may also help kill sperm and germs during sex. This gives extra protection in preventing pregnancy if the condom breaks. Use a water-based lubrication with condoms if you like. Do not use an oil or mineral-based lubricant. Flavored − These are most often used during oral sex. They are not lubricated and have flavors such as mint or vanilla. Color − The color of a condoms does not change how it works. Remove the condom with care after sex. This will avoid the condom breaking or leaking. Female condom: A female condom is a soft plastic pouch that has one closed end and an open end. Each end has a ring or rim to help hold the condom in place. The closed end is put into the vagina over the cervix and the ring holds it there. The open end stays outside the opening of the vagina. It is held in place by the second ring. A female condom may be put in place up to 8 hours before sexual contact. The condom blocks the sperm from going in the womb (uterus). Can help prevent pregnancy and the spread of STDs Has a lubricant on the inside Remove with care after sex. Twist the lower ring to seal in the sperm. Gently remove the condom.
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