• 88 - 98 % Effective
  • STI Protection
  • Single use

What is the (male) condom?

The male condom is a thin pouch that is usually made of latex or polyurethane. You put it on an erect (stiff) penis or sex toy before it enters the vagina or anus during sex.

Fpv Condom
photo of condom

How effective is the condom?

Condoms are 98% effective at preventing pregnancy if used correctly. Given mistakes might happen, such as incorrect use or breakages, it might only be 88% effective.

What stops the condom from working?

Condoms might not work if they are:

  • Used incorrectly
  • Used with oil based lubricant
  • Past their use by date
  • Used at the same time as certain vaginal medications. (Check with your doctor, nurse or pharmacist)
  • The wrong size for the penis
  • Torn when opening packet
  • Kept in hot places for a long time (like a car glove box in summer)

How do I use the condom?

Always check the expiry date before use. Squeeze the tip of the condom to remove air, then roll it down on the erect penis/sex toy as far as it will go.

condom on erect penis

Each condom can only be used once and then it must be thrown away into a bin (not down the toilet). To avoid pregnancy and sexually transmissible infections, put the condom on before the penis touches the vagina or anus.

You can use condoms with water or silicone-based lubricants (lube). Lube is a jelly-or liquid like material. Do not use oil-based lube with (male) condoms. Check the lube product label before using. 

How does the condom work?

The condom works by preventing ejaculate (cum) from entering the vagina or anus. The condom can prevent both pregnancy and sexually transmissible infections (STIs). The condom also protects the penis from STIs. Use a new condom every time you have sex.

Where can I get the condom?

Condoms and lube are available from supermarkets, pharmacies/chemists and petrol stations. Some clinics, youth services and community health services provide them for free.

What is good about the condom?

The condom:

  •  Protects against sexually transmissible infections (STIs)
  •  Is low in cost
  •  Is easy to use
  •  Has little or no side effects
  •  Can be bought without a script
  •  Is available in different sizes

Are there any side effects from using the condom?

They can occasionally cause irritation of the vagina, penis or anus.

Can the condom cause any serious health problems?

Some people are allergic to latex. Non-latex condoms are available.

Reasons why the condom may not be a good option for you:

  • You or your partner have difficulties keeping an erection.

What if I forget to use a condom?

You may need emergency contraception if you forgot to use a condom or other contraception (check with your doctor, nurse or pharmacist).                 

What happens if I get pregnant while I’m using the condom?

It is safe to continue the pregnancy or to have an abortion.

Can I use condoms after I’ve had a baby?

You can use condoms any time after giving birth.

What else should I know about the condom?

  • Wrap used condoms in tissue and thrown away safely. Do not flush condoms down the toilet.
  • The condom is one of many types of contraception. See other options 

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Where to get more information, support or advice

This is general information only, you should speak to your doctor for advice and further instruction.

Last updated: 28 June 2018