Abstinence is the only way to protect you and your partner 100% from sexually transmitted infections (STIs) and pregnancy. If you do choose to have sex, proper use of a latex or polyurethane condom provides highly effective protection from STIs as well as pregnancy.
If your partner says:
You can say:
|·Sex with condoms doesn't feel as good. I can't feel anything with one on."||·"I know sex may feel different with a condom, but it doesn't have to be unpleasant. I know if we use condoms I'll feel a lot safer and more relaxed, and that will make sex more enjoyable for both of us."|
|·"My HIV test was negative."||·"HIV is not the only infection I'm worried about. There are several STIs that may not have any visible symptoms even if you are infected. A condom will help protect us both from getting an STI."|
|·"Don't you trust me?"||·"We may both believe we're disease free and trust each other, but people can have an STI and not know it. We may not be able to trust our past partners. I trust that using a condom will protect us both."|
|·"I love you. If you really loved me, you wouldn't ask me to use a condom."||·"Love isn't the issue. Getting a sexually transmitted infection is. I think if you loved me you would be more concerned about protecting us both from infections."|
Advantages: Condoms are portable, disposable, low cost, and easily available. The existence of both a male and a female condom allows both men and women to take an active role in protective behaviors. The female condom is made of polyurethane and is an alternative barrier method for those with latex allergies.
Disadvantages:The male condom does not provide full protection from pubic lice, genital warts (HPV), and some herpes lesions, all STIs that may be transmitted through skin-to-skin contact. The female condom slightly more protection because it covers more of the genital area.
·Condoms are not reusable!
·Use only ONE condom at a time. "Doubling up" will actually increase friction, leading to breakage and a higher risk of STI and pregnancy.
·Using a water-based lubricant not only increases sensation, it also helps to reduce friction and risk of breakage. Some well-known water-based personal lubricants are K-Y Jelly and Astro-Glide.
·AVOID OIL-BASED LUBRICANTS! These will actually break down the latex and increase the risk of STI and pregnancy. This includes hand & body lotion, massage oil, and suntan oils.
A Step-by-Step to Safer
Male Condom Use
A Step-by-Step to Safer
Female Condom Use
|1.Check the expiration date on the condom, and make sure the inner-air pocket is still present.||1. Check the expiration date on the condom, and then carefully open the package.|
|2. Push the condom away from the edge of the package that you're going to tear open, and use your fingers (no teeth!) to open it.||2. Hold the inner ring between your thumb and middle finger. Put your index finger on the pouch between your other two fingers.|
|3. Most condoms have a reservoir tip, so the ejaculate has somewhere to go. Pinch the air out of this tip and place on the head of the penis.||3. Squeeze the inner ring and insert, similarly to a tampon, the pouch into the vagina, making sure the inner ring is past the pubic bone.|
|4. Using the pads of your fingers, roll the condom down to the base of the penis, making sure there are no air bubbles.||4. Squeeze the inner ring and insert, similarly to a tampon, the pouch into the vagina, making sure the inner ring is past the pubic bone.|
|5. After ejaculation, while the penis is still erect, hold the condom in place and withdraw from your partner.||5. A water-based lubricant must be used with the female condom, and can be added inside the pouch or to the penis. Start with 2 drops of lubricant and add more if desired.|
|6. Move away from your partner, remove the condom and throw it in the garbage.||6. After ejaculation, remove the condom before standing up. Squeeze and twist the outer ring. Pull out gently, and dispose in the garbage.|
The Oral Sex Issue
Recent studies are inconclusive when it comes to transmission of HIV and other STIs through oral sex. Non-lubricated condoms are recommended for oral sex performed on a male. Trojan produces a mint-flavored condom with this practice in mind.
A dental dam is a latex square or rectangle that is recommended for use during oral sex performed on a female. The dental dam is simply placed over the genital area. Call Planned Parenthood of Wisconsin at 833-2279 for purchasing information. You can also make your own by cutting the radius of male condom. Unroll the condom, and you'll have a square of latex that can be used as a dam.