Male condom

What the packet says

What is it?

How it works

Male condoms are thin latex or polyurethane sheaths that are worn on the penis. They prevent pregnancy by stopping sperm getting to the womb.

How does this compare?


  • During intercourse
  • Daily
  • Monthly
  • 1 - 3 Months
  • 1 - 3 Years
  • 3 - 5 Years
  • Permanent

Similar to

Clinical effectiveness

98% if used perfectly

What does this mean?

Contains hormones

  • Yes
  • No
What does this mean?

What you said

These stats are based on 27 reviews

Side Effects

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After Effects

Moods & Emotions


Body Weight

Sex Drive

Reviewer data

Time Taken

Age of Reviewers

Reviewers had children

Reviewers currently using

Detailed information

How to get started

  • The trusty condom is the only type of contraception that stops pregnancy and protects against STI’s, and you only need to use them when you have sex – so no need for advanced preparation or doctors appointments.
  • Anyone can buy or get hold of condoms easily – either buy them online or from shops and pharmacies, or in the UK you can get free condoms from contraception clinics, sexual health clinics and some GP surgeries.
  • It may sound obvious, but you need to use a different condom every time you have sex.
  • To use a condom, open the condom out of the packet, making sure you don’t tear it with your nails or jewelry. Place it over the tip of an erect penis and squeeze the air out of the teat if there is one at the end.
  • If it won’t roll down the penis, you’ve probably got it the wrong way round. Take it off, throw it away and start again with a new one.
  • After sex, hold the condom at the base of the penis when you withdraw – and remove it from the penis, being careful not to spill any sperm.
  • Don’t throw condoms away in the toilet. Think of Blue Planet and put it in the bin.

How to stop

  • Stopping using condoms is easy, you just don’t put one on a penis when you have sex.
  • In general condoms have little to no after effects, but check out our survey results to see what others have experienced.

Things that can go wrong

  • The most common thing that can go wrong is a condom breaks, splits, or slips off during sex. If this happens, you may need to use emergency contraception. If it keeps happening, you may not be putting condoms on correctly (leaving some air in there) or you may need to use a bigger condom size. There are hundreds of types, brands and sizes of condom so it’s worth trying out a few to find one that works for you and your partner.
  • Occasionally, condoms can fall off and get lost inside a women’s vagina during sex. Don’t panic, just reach your fingers inside your vagina and try to pull it out. If you can’t feel it, it’s probably lodged at the top of your vaginal canal near your cervix. Sometimes squatting or propping one foot up on a higher surface, can help you reach your cervix. If you can’t get it out after a few hours, head to your local A&E or clinic and they can remove it for you.
  • People who are allergic or sensitive to latex shouldn’t use condoms made from latex.
  • Quite a lot of things can stop condoms being effective – these include:
    • If a penis touches the vaginal area before the condom is put on. Make sure you don’t get ahead of yourself– sperm can come out of the penis before a man has ejaculated.
    • Condoms being past their use by date – don’t use them if they’re out of date
    • Condoms stored in intense heat or cold.
    • Condoms used with oil based products or lubricant (like moisturiser, lotion, Vaseline).
    • Condoms used with medication for things like thrush (pessaries etc).




Male condom

Most of my time using a male condom I’ve also been on pill form contraception so any side effects I put down to those. This h…

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Male condom

I used condoms before hormonal contraception and are using them again now. I used to rely on condoms alone and was not aware of…

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Male condom

I used to hate using condoms but after having recurring VB issues a nurse at the GUM clinic recommended I try them.

I h…

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Male condom

My boyfriend and never used anything but male condoms. Although we are interested in something that’s less interrupting I jus…

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Male condom

I came off my mini pill due to my mental health as I wanted to see if removing it helped ( it did ). Since then I have been usi…

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Male condom

I don’t enjoy condoms – it interrupts the process of sex and recently I have used it it has completely thrown my va…

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Male condom


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Male condom

For some reason I’m always left feeling like it may not have worked and it kills the mood 99% of the time. I always have to u…

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Male condom

For me a side affect free way of contraception.

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