General information about condoms

Basic facts about condoms

Condoms although not 100% safe, but can prevent most STIs and unwanted babies. Different types of condoms are generally available:

  • With and without lubricant

Many people prefer to use a condoms in combination with a lubricant as the chance of tearing or slipping off is reduced. Often, a water-based lubricant is already put on the condom. With condoms suitable for anal sex, extra water-based lubricant is sometimes packaged separately.

  • Flavoured condoms

Most of the flavoured condoms marketed are not designed for vaginal use. Flavoured condoms are not lubricated and are most suitable for use in ‘blow jobs’. (fellatio).

  • Female condoms and dental dams

These condoms are not available in all European Union member states and not at all in prisons. They are expensive everywhere. Nevertheless, the female condom can be convenient for several reasons. It is inserted in the vagina, and a rubber ring inside the condom helps to keep the condom in the right position. The major advantage of the “Femidom” is that it can be inserted long before actual intercourse takes place.

  • Extra strong condoms

Extra-strong condoms are often referred to as ‘gay condoms’, which is actually incorrect because anal sex is also common among heterosexuals. Extra strong condoms are specially designed for anal sex. This type of condom is not considered 100% safe. The possibility of an ‘accident’, such as tearing of the condom, is considerable if it is not used properly. This type of condom is best used with extra lubricant.

Instruction on condom use

  • Check if you have the right condom:
    • Is it intended for vaginal or anal use? For anal use, only special, thicker condoms are suitable.
    • Is it big enough?
    • Is it an approved brand?
    • Check the expiry date
  • Open the package carefully in the middle:
    • Do not use teeth or scissors to avoid tearing the condom
  • Take out the condom:
    • Be extra careful if you have long fingernails
    • Make sure that you don’t hold the condom inside out
  • Pinch (squeeze) the semen reservoir at the tip of the condom, so that there is no air left. We do this because:
    • The chance that it will tear is smaller because the reservoir does not come under pressure
    • If the condom has no reservoir you can make one yourself by squeezing the air out of the top of the condom (1-3 cm).
  • Put the condom on top of the penis and unroll it carefully to the base of the penis 
    • Wait until the penis is completely hard before putting the condom on.
    • When fully unrolled, there is less chance that the condom will slip off
    • Again, be careful with long nails
  • Be sure to use water-based lubricants
    • Always use lubricant for anal penetration
    • A non-water-based lubricant will dissolve the condom. So do not use hand cream, body lotion, vaseline, oil or butter. If none of these things are available, use saliva instead!
  • Withdraw the penis carefully immediately after ejaculating 
    • While withdrawing, hold the condom at the opening to avoid it slipping off
    • If you wait too long the penis becomes flabby, the condom slips off and semen drips out
  • Dispose the condom by putting it in a bin
    • Avoid using the toilet because condoms can stop up the drain
  • Wash hands

Use a new condom each time you start an intercourse. Never use two condoms on top of each other as this can cause the condoms to tear!