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Male Condoms

Male Condoms

Male condoms are thin protective sheaths that cover the penis or interior walls of the vagina. Condoms are the only contraceptives that also provide protection against sexually transmitted infections (STIs), Hepatitis B and C, and HIV. Condoms provide different levels of risk reduction for different STIs because infections are transmitted through different physiological mechanisms. Some STIs spread by contact with bodily fluids while others are spread through skin-to-skin contact. Research shows that condoms are most effective in preventing STIs spread by bodily fluids, such as bacterial infections like gonorrhea, syphilis, and chlamydia as well as those spread by viruses such as human immunodeficiency virus (HIV). Condoms can also reduce the risk of contracting diseases spread by skin-to-skin contact, such as herpes and human papillomavirus (HPV) if sores are in areas covered by the condom.

Brands & Scents

Condoms come in many different brands, scents and variants. Scents can be contained in the lubricant that accompanies most condoms or in the condom wall itself. Scents are intended to provide a variety of options for users, additional intimacy and arousal. Scented condoms can be color-matched with the scent; for example, a green color to match a mint scent. Condoms may also be shaped and textured differently to increase sexual pleasure for one or both partners. They can also contain anesthetics that delay arousal.


Effectiveness depends on the user. Correct and consistent use of condoms is the key for effective protection.

When used correctly and with every act of sex, condoms:

  • Are 98% effective at preventing pregnancy
  • Prevent 80 – 95% of HIV transmission

Condoms also reduce the risk of many sexually transmitted diseases. They protect best against STIs spread by discharge, such as HIV, gonorrhea, syphilis, and chlamydia. They also reduce the risk of becoming infected with STIs spread by skin-to-skin contact if the infected area and sores are covered by the condom.

Health Benefits

Condoms help protect against unplanned pregnancy as well as STIs, including HIV and Hepatitis B and C.

Frequently Asked Questions

No. Male condoms do not make men sterile, impotent, or weak

iPlan must be taken every day, whether or not a woman has sex that day.

No. Male condoms cannot get lost in a woman’s body

No. Wearing two or more condoms simultaneously does not increase protection. It actually can decrease protection because friction between the two condoms can increase the chance of slippage or tearing.

Absolutely. Many married couples use male condoms to prevent unwanted pregnancy.

Side Effects

There are no side effects with Condom use. However, latex Condoms may cause extremely rare reactions in users with latex allergy.