Effectiveness in Preventing Pregnancy
- About 11-15 couples out of 100 using this method for one year will get pregnant.
- Place on the erect penis before any sexual contact occurs.
- Use water-based lubricants for more comfort.
- Hold base of condom snugly against the penis when pulling out.
- Yes (latex and polyurethane condoms only).
- No (lambskin condoms only)
Clinic Visit Required
What is the male condom?
Sometimes called "rubbers," a male condom is a thin, protective covering that's placed over the penis. Condoms prevent pregnancy by keeping sperm from entering a woman's body.
Condoms made from latex (a man-made type of rubber) are the most common type, but some people get skin irritation from latex. Polyurethane (plastic) condoms are a good choice if latex cannot be used.
Both lubricated and non-lubricated condoms are available. You can also add water-based lubricant (like KY jelly) to a condom to make sex more comfortable but avoid oils and oil-based lotions-these can weaken condoms and can cause them to break.
Used correctly each time you have sex, latex and polyurethane condoms do a good job of preventing pregnancy and many sexually transmitted infections (STIs). Condoms made from natural or lambskin materials also protect against pregnancy, but they won't protect against STIs.
How do I use it?
- Put a condom on the erect penis before sex.
- To keep sperm from spilling, pull the penis out before it gets soft.
- Hold the condom against the base of the penis when pulling out.
- Use a new condom each time you have sex.
Condoms can be damaged by heat, so store them somewhere cool and dry. Don't keep them in a wallet or in a car.
Click here for more on how to use male condoms the right way.
How do I get male condoms?
You do not need a prescription to buy condoms. You can buy condoms at many places including pharmacies, grocery stores, and discount stores. Health departments, clinics, and student health centers may offer free or low-cost condoms.
To search for a family planning clinic near you, use the Clinic Locator.