Male condoms are made from very thin latex (rubber) but non-latex condoms are also available for those who are allergic to rubber. The condom acts as a barrier and stops sperm from the penis entering the vagina, mouth or anus.

Why use condoms

Sexually transmitted Infections are spread through passing of sexual fluids during vaginal, oral or anal sex and as the condom is used as a barrier, it stops the transfer of fluids between partners and therefore is the only form of contraception to protect against STIs.

Condoms used correctly are 98% effective in protecting you from contracting most STIs, and from possible unwanted pregnancy. To ensure you are using the condom correctly, please follow the instructions on the packets.

10 great things about condoms

There are various forms of contraception available and it is up to you to decide what method best suits you. All contraception is FREE of charge on the NHS and is available from many places in Kirklees.

1. Protection from STI's as well as unwanted pregnancy

Condoms are the only form of contraception that will protect you from catching a Sexually Transmitted Infection (STI) as well as protect you from an Unwanted Pregnancy.

2. They can make your sex life more enjoyable!

Sex should be an enjoyable experience for both of you, and if you're worried about contracting a nasty STI or becoming unintentionally pregnant it is likely to lead to you feeling anxious and worried, and will definitely detract from the overall experience. If you are using condoms correctly, then both you and your partner can relax and enjoy the experience, without worries the next day, or for the next several weeks! Condoms can make the man slightly less sensitive, and so delay his climax (when he 'comes') and so lead to longer and more enjoyable sex for both of you! Condoms can be incorporated into your sex life as foreplay - If you are confident with using condoms, putting one on yourself or putting one on your partner can add excitement and foreplay to your sex life!

3. Condoms are very effective!

If used correctly, condoms are 98% effective at preventing most STIs and Unwanted Pregnancy. That's pretty high!

4. If you use condoms....

Research shows that young people say they are impressed when their partner can talk about condom use, carries condoms, knows how to use condoms properly, and puts one on. It can really take the stress out of the situation if you say upfront that you think you should be using a condom. If you want respect from your partner, and to show them that you are responsible and care about your own health as well as theirs, then use condoms!

5. You can get condoms for FREE!

There are many places in Kirklees where you can go to get condoms for free:

  • CASH Clinics
  • Condom distribution points
  • Some GP's
  • Sexual health services in school
  • Young people's clinics
6. Shapes, sizes, colours, textures & flavours!

A wide range of condoms are available and the trick to good condom use is to find out which type of condom suits you or your partner the best. You wouldn't expect everyone to find the same kind of trainer a close comfortable fit so why would everyone want to wear the same sort of condom? Our advise is to try out all the different varieties until you find one that suits you, after all if it's comfortable, you are more likely to keep using them!

7. You only have to use condoms when you are having sex!

Unlike some forms of contraception which may need to be taken every day, and rely on you remembering them, you only need to use condoms when you are actually having sex! The plus point of that is that if you decide to stop having sex, say because you finish a relationship or you decide to give the sexual part of your relationship a break, then you're not taking a contraceptive for no reason.

8. No medical side effects from using condoms!

Some young people report unwanted side effects from taking hormonal contraceptives, such as changing the way that their body feels. Condoms do not alter your hormones, so therefore will not have any side effects. Very rarely someone may have a latex allergy, which could mean that condom use will cause irritation or redness. If this happens then don't despair as Non-Latex condoms are available from all the places above that supply condoms, and are just as easy to use, and just as effective!

9. Condoms are easy to use

Once you've got the hang of condom use, they are easy to use! Getting good at using condoms is easy and our advice is practise, practise, and MORE practise!

If you have privacy, both boys and girls can practice using condoms on their own so they are totally confident when getting them on!

Boys - we recommend you use condoms on your own when masturbating so that you get used to putting them on and how they feel when they're on! Go to How to use a condom for a step by step guide!

Girls - you can practise too, (as long as you have privacy), by practising opening and rolling down a condom on say, a banana or even a hairbrush. Go to How to use a condom for a step by step guide!

10. Condoms make sex less messy!

Many young people say that using condoms makes sex less messy, as it means no-one has to end up with any sticky stuff on or in them!

How to use a condom

  • Check that the condom foil is intact, that it is within the expiry date and that it has the BSI kitemark or CE mark.
  • Tear along one side of the foil making sure that you do not damage the condom with sharp fingernails or jewellery as you squeeze the condom out.
  • Put the condom on when the penis is erect, but before contact with your partner as fluid is often released in the early stages of an erection. This can cause pregnancy and pass on an infection.
  • Hold the condom teat between the thumb and finger making sure the condom is the right way for unrolling. This expels air from the teat reducing the chance of it bursting.
  • Using your other hand unroll the condom down the entire length of the penis, whilst still holding the teat. Make sure the condom stays in place during sex. If the condom should come off then open a new condom and put it on before continuing sex. If this happens, the female should attend for emergency contraception as a precaution against unintended pregnancy and both partners should get checked out for possible STIs.
  • After ejaculation make sure you hold the base of the condom in place as you withdraw, only when the penis is completely withdrawn can you remove the condom. Make sure you keep the penis and used condom away from the vagina and anus.
  • After use make sure you dispose of the condom hygienically, wrap it in a tissue and place it in a waste bin.
  • Do not flush it down the toilet. Condoms can sometimes block a toilet, or come floating back up! Needless to say neither of these are going to look good!


  • ONLY use condoms that have the BSI kitemark or CE mark on the packet and ALWAYS check the expiry date on the condom packet before use!
  • Do not use oil based lubricants such as baby oil, petroleum jelly, body lotions, massage oils, butter etc, as they can damage latex condoms. If additional lubrication is required, use a water based lubricant or KY Jelly.
  • Some medications applied to either the penis, vagina or anus may damage the condom, check with a doctor or pharmacist.
  • NEVER use a condom more than once!