What is a Condom?

A condom is a contraceptive device. That means that it is used during sex to prevent pregnancy. But unlike hormonal contraception (like the birth control pill), condoms can also prevent the spread of sexually transmitted diseases.

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A condom is essentially a thin, latex (or other material) tube that fits snuggly over the penis before the penis enters the vagina. They are apart of a family of contraceptives called barrier methods that also include things like diaphragms and dental dams.

This means condoms act as a barrier between bodies, preventing the exchange of fluids (such as semen and vaginal mucus) that can cause pregnancy or STDs.

Condoms are considered one of the most reliable forms of birth control when used correctly. This includes wearing the correct size, using the right type of lubrication, using only one barrier at a time, and using it only once.

Still, there is always a chance that a condom will not work, so it’s always a good idea to pair it with hormonal birth control and get tested for STDs regularly.

Alternative Condoms

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There are also female condoms which are inserted into the body, and can then have the penis or a toy inserted into them. Confused?  Don’t worry. We can teach you how to use a female condom.

While no condom is currently approved by the FDA specifically for use in the anus, it’s still important to be safe while having anal sex. Click here to read more about how to use condoms safely during anal, and learn why the FDA hasn’t yet approved them. These are our five favorite condoms for anal sex.

Common Condom Questions

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Don’t see your question? Check out our FAQ, or ask it yourself. You can even shoot us a message on Facebook, Tumblr, or Twitter.

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