Time to learn more about condoms as contraception.
Some of these may sound like no-brainers but it’s better to be safe – literally – than sorry so we’re going to list them for you anyway.
1. Condoms are the only form of contraception that protect against both pregnancy and sexually transmitted infections (STIs).
2. Latex condoms are the most popular type but do note that, if you’re using lubricant too, use only water or silicon-based ones as oil-based ones can cause the condom to break. Some men (and women) have a latex allergy but there’s a solution for this – polyurethane condoms. These are also usually thinner, which might increase sensitivity and, therefore, pleasure during sex.
3. Get your man to put the condom on before you both get going. This is so it doesn’t ruin the mood when he has to stop to put it on later or, worse still, forget to use it at all. But don’t wait too long after he puts on the condom though, as you don’t want it to dry out.
4. Another reason to make sure his condom is on before he enters you is because men do leak fluids from their penis before and after ejaculation itself and, while you might not notice this, it could actually pass on an STI or even possibly get you pregnant.
5. Make sure your man carries his condoms in a condom case, as opposed to his wallet as they could get damaged this way. Better still, leave a box of condoms in your house at all times.
6. Yes, condoms have expiry dates so always check this on the pack before using them as you don’t want them to not be able to do what they’re supposed to do.
7. Tear the condom wrapper from the serrated edge. Go ahead and help your man to do it but watch out if you have long fingernails or any jewellery or body piercings that could get in the way and tear the pack where you’re not meant to.
8. How do you put a condom on your man? First, squeeze the condom teat so there’s no air trapped inside. Then, while still squeezing it, put the condom on top of his penis and roll it over his penis with your other hand.
9. Wash your hands before you put on your man’s condom as it’s best to keep things hygienic. Or, if this isn’t possible at that point in time, just make sure you don’t have any oils or creams on your hands as it could indirectly cause the condom to break.
10. Novelty condoms might not necessarily work and most of them say so somewhere on the pack so read the instructions before you buy them. It’s best to stick to well-known brands.
11. Size does matter when it comes to condoms so make sure your man uses the right size. If it doesn’t fit right, not only will it interfere with your and his pleasure, it might also not be as effective in preventing STIs and pregnancy. If he’s too embarrassed to measure himself, try a few different types before finding the one that works best for both of you.
12. On average, condoms don’t really affect the quality of sex. So if your man tells you he doesn’t want to use a condom because then the sex won’t feel as good, tell him he’s lying and put it on or you won’t put out. In fact, it might actually lead to better sex as you’d both be more relaxed and not worry about STIs and unwanted pregnancies.
13. Once you’re done with sex, get your man to take off the condom, knot it, wrap it in a tissue and throw it in a bin. Don’t flush it down the toilet please, as it’s not the environmentally friendly thing to do.
14. And, yes, female condoms do exist. They are worn inside the vagina, to stop sperm getting any further into your reproductive system. A female condom can be inserted into the vagina up to eight hours before sex.
15. We probably don’t have to tell you this but do make sure your man uses a new condom every time you have sex. The same rule applies if you’re using a female condom.
A version of this article originally appeared on www.herworldplus.com.