The condom is the most common method of protection during intimate contact and can help both partners in avoiding an unwanted pregnancy (as a method of contraception with an efficiency of 98% – if used properly during every intimate contact) and in preventing STDs such as HIV, syphilis, gonorrhea and so on. There are both male condoms (used by men) and female condoms (used by women).
The male condom is the only form of birth control (for a limited/short time) for men. Also, the male condom is the oldest method of contraception – the evidence was found that the condom was used 3,000 years ago by the Egyptians.
Currently, condoms are specially made of latex, but also from polyurethane and animal tissues. They can be found at any drugstore, grocery, etc., in a variety of colors, styles, sizes, textures, flavors, and, of course, prices. Condoms also contain a lubricating substance, and some even contain spermicide (a chemical substance that kills sperm, providing additional contraceptive protection, but unfortunately it increases the risk of getting STDs).
However, you should be aware that the condom is not a bulletproof method of contraception (no method of contraception is absolutely safe, besides abstinence) so there is some risk, especially if it is not used properly, for each intercourse. Also, the condom does not provide you 100% protection against STDs.
Most often, condom usage has no side effects. But there are people that are allergic to latex and/or are sensitive to the spermicidal substance used – it might cause itching, burning, and even urinary tract and/or internal infections. Therefore, in order to avoid these side effects, look for condoms with no spermicide.
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The female condom works exactly the same as the male condom just that it is used only by women. Although a feminine condom has an efficiency rate of only 80% in preventing pregnancy, it decreases the risk of infection with STDs. It is made of polyurethane, a thinner, and more durable material than latex. It is actually a “membrane” equipped with one soft and flexible “ring” at each end.
Since the female condom is made of polyurethane, it has fewer side effects than the male condom and can be used with oil-based lubricants. This type of condom is more expensive than the male condom and is less used.
How do you get a condom?
Nowadays you can purchase condoms from everywhere: supermarkets, drugstores, vending machines, etc., and without a prescription. In case you have any preferences you can buy condoms depending on their color, flavor, size, and texture.
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How much does it cost?
The condom is the most affordable contraception method in terms of costs, of course, other than abstinence.
A male condom costs from 0.50$ to 1$, but if you choose to buy them in boxes with several condoms you will pay less. Usually, a 12-pack of condoms costs around $10.99, but if you buy even larger boxes they will be less.
A female condom is always more expensive, around $2 to $4.
In general, there are many schools, health centers, family planning clinics that distribute them for free.
Today, condoms are very easy to get, and also easy to use.
Should the average working person use condoms?
You should use condoms especially if you don’t have a stable intimate relationship or you plan to get involved intimately with someone you don’t know very well. It’s a great way to protect yourself from STDs and unwanted pregnancies and its cost is very low. Your pleasure is important, but also your protection, so be smart and prevent an unwanted pregnancy or STDs.