- It is important not only to use condoms while having sex, but to do so safely and responsibly.
- This is the best way to curb STIs and unwanted pregnancies, although you have to bear in mind that there is no absolute way to completely prevent infection.
- Below are some handy hints to make sure you enjoy a good time in a safe way.
Remember: The pill offers no protection against sexually transmitted infections. "STIS, like chlamydia, are common and can even affect serially monogamous people," says GP and author Dr Cindy Pan. "There is no such thing as completely safe sex, but a condom does make it safer."
Consider doubling up
"Condoms always provide at least some protection against unwanted pregnancy and STIs, but it's important to be aware that nothing is ever 100 percent," says Pan."If you definitely don't want to get pregnant, using more than one form of protection might be preferable."
Remember that you have options
Daniel Jordan, marketing manager for Four Seasons Condoms, suggests you try ultra-thin condoms if your guy doesn't like the feel of latex. If he finishes too quickly, try thicker condoms. A decrease in sensation can help him last longer, so everybody wins!
A late-night trek to the closest convenience store can be one serious mood killer. Getting bedroom action? Keep some condoms in your bag or bedroom, so they're ready for when you need them.
Take time to actually read the instructions that come with a box of condoms. Some hints: Always check the expiry date. Squeeze the tip to expel any trapped air, which can make it susceptible to breakage. After ejaculation, get him to slowly withdraw his erect penis while holding onto the rim of the condom to avoid leakage. Finally, wrap it in tissues and bin it - do not flush it.
"Water-based lubricant is highly desirable because it increases the sensation," says Jordan. Bonus: It also lessens the chances of the condom being damaged by friction.
Do not be stingy
You might need more than one condom during sex. "It's important to use a new one every time," says Pan. Also, be sure to grab a fresh condom each time you swap from vaginal to oral or anal sex.
Do not wait too late
Get him to slide on a condom before there's any sexual contact. "Putting it on too late is a huge issue because of pre-ejaculatory fluid," says Pan. The fluid can contain sperm or can pass on STIs.
Do not panic
If the condom breaks, go to your GP asap. They'll discuss STI tests and your emergency contraception options
Don't let anyone pressure you into going without a condom. "Your very first priority is the responsibility to yourself," says Pan.
"If you're sitting in a doctor's surgery finding out that you've contracted pelvic inflammatory disease and are now infertile, how would you forgive yourself? There might be consequences to your future children and partners, so you have to stand up for yourself and know that certain things are not negotiable."
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