Sexuality and U

Health-Care Professionals

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How They Work; Pros and Cons



Latex or polyurethane

Mechanism of Action

Mechanical barrier when placed over the penis or inside the vagina (female condom).


Must be applied to the penis or vagina prior to intercourse.

  1. Offers protection from some sexually transmitted diseases. 
  2. Offers protection against tubal infertility and cervical cancer. 
  3. No hormonal additives. 
  4. Can be used in breastfeeding women. 
  5. Requires no fitting and is easily accessible. 
  6. Enhances other methods of contraception. 
  7. Male condom may in certain circumstances improve sexual relationships by delaying time to orgasm. 
Disadvantages/Side Effects
  1. Coitus dependent. 
  2. May interfere with maintenance of an erection or reduce pleasurable sensation. 
  3. May break or slip. 
  4. May have an unpleasant taste. 
  5. Latex, spermicide and/ or lubricant can cause irritation or rarely an allergic reaction. 
  6. Requires care to ensure the condom is both placed correctly and removed without spill. 
  7. Latex condoms cannot be used with oil based lubricants. 

The Pearl Index for the careful user is 3-5 (failure rate for 100 women using this method for one year). Higher failure rates may occur in young users (<24 yrs of age).

Contraindications/Poor candidates

There are no contraindications to the use of a condom with the recent introduction of the polyurethane male condoms.


None required. Patient may benefit from a visit within the first few months of use to discuss overall tolerability.

How to put on a condom

Put On Condom

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