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Condom Sense: Everything You Wanted to Know About Condoms and Spermicide

Condom Sense:
Everything You Wanted to Know About Condoms and Spermicide



What are condoms and spermicide?
How do condoms and spermicide work?
How reliable are condoms and spermicide?
Can condoms prevent sexually transmitted diseases?
How do you put on a condom?
How do you take off a condom?
How do you use spermicide?
Where do you get condoms?
Where do you get spermicide?
If condoms are so easy to use, why don't more people use them?


What are condoms and spermicide?
Condoms, also called rubbers, are a form of birth control. A condom is a thin piece of latex that fits on a boy's erect penis. There's room at the end of the condom to collect all the semen that is ejaculated (when a boy 'cums').

For extra protection against getting pregnant, condoms can be used with spermicide, a medicine that kills sperm, which you put into your vagina before intercourse. back to top

How do condoms and spermicide work?
Condoms prevent a boy's semen from getting into your vagina. This keeps you from getting pregnant and helps prevent the spread of diseases. You can get pregnant only if his sperm reach your egg and one sperm fertilizes it. If no sperm can reach the egg, you can't get pregnant. Just in case any sperm do escape from the condom, the spermicide is there to kill them and to kill any bacteria that are living in the semen. Spermicide can be used without a condom, but it isn't a reliable form of birth control by itself.

Condoms are easy to use. When you're finished with one, you can just throw it in the trash. A condom can be messy sometimes, so you may want to wrap it in a tissue. Don't flush condoms down the toilet, because they can clog the pipes and make the toilet overflow. back to top

How reliable are condoms and spermicide?
Condoms are supposed to be 98% effective. But in real life, they're usually much less effective. They can break or leak. You should never depend on a condom alone to keep you from getting pregnant. Always use condoms together with some other kind of birth control, such as spermicide or birth control pills. back to top

Can condoms prevent sexually transmitted diseases?
This is where condoms shine! Condoms help prevent the spread of sexually transmitted diseases like gonorrhea, syphilis, and even HIV. Latex condoms are best for preventing the spread of HIV. back to top

How do you put on a condom?
It's easy to use a condom. Even though it goes on a boy's penis, you should know how to put one on too. Here's what you do:
  • The condom comes rolled up in a little foil pouch. Rip open the pouch carefully without using anything sharp (otherwise, you could put a hole in the condom).
  • Take out the condom and pinch the tip of it with a thumb and finger to leave a little room for the semen.
  • Put the stiff ring around the tip of his penis. With your other hand, roll the condom down to the base of his penis. The condom should fit tightly and cover almost the whole penis, so that no semen can leak out and get into your vagina.
That's it! Buy some condoms at the drugstore and practice putting one on your finger or a banana a couple of times until you feel comfortable. back to top

How do you take off a condom?
After intercourse, the boy must pull his penis out of your vagina while it's still hard. If he waits until he loses his erection to pull out, the condom will be loose around his softer penis. Then some of the semen could leak out or the condom could fall off. He should hold the base of the condom as he pulls out of your vagina so that no semen leaks. back to top

How do you use spermicide?
There's always the chance that a condom could leak or even break. That's why you need to use spermicide as well. Spermicide is a medicated gel that you can buy at the drugstore without a prescription. Usually you use an applicator, like the one you use with tampons, to put the spermicide into your vagina before intercourse. Spermicide will kill sperm that escape from the condom.

After using spermicide you may find that it leaks out of your vagina. It can be a little messy. Some girls and women prefer to use a spermicidal film. You put spermicidal film into the vagina 15 minutes before sex. The film isn't as messy as other spermicides because it melts away and doesn't leak. You fold it up into a square the size of a postage stamp and insert it deep into your vagina. The film dissolves into a sperm-killing gel that lines your vagina and forms a barrier of spermicide between your vagina and the condom. You can buy spermicidal film at the drugstore in the same area where they sell condoms. back to top

Where do you get condoms?
You can buy condoms at the drugstore. You don't need a prescription. Because there are so many types of condoms, it might seem confusing to try to pick one out. There are ribbed condoms that are supposed to feel better in a girl's vagina and smooth condoms.
There are condoms with a spermicide called nonoxynol-9 and condoms without spermicide. There are even colored condoms and scented condoms.

You can get latex condoms, condoms made of polyurethane that you can use if you are allergic to latex, and condoms made of natural skin from animals. But you should always use latex or polyurethane condoms because they keep you from getting pregnant and help prevent the spread of HIV and other sexually transmitted diseases. Natural skin condoms have microscopic holes in them that are large enough for bacteria to pass through, so they do not work to keep you from getting a disease. back to top

Where do you get spermicide?
You can buy spermicide at the drugstore in the same aisle as the condoms. There a couple of different types and brands. back to top

If condoms are so easy to use, why don't more people use them?
Some people think condoms are a pain because you have to put one on right before intercourse. Many boys believe that condoms lessen the good feelings in the penis during sex. Even so, you still have a right to insist that a boy always uses a condom to protect you against pregnancy and to protect both of you from sexually transmitted diseases. back to top

 
 
 
Last Modified Date: 4/2/2001
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