Why Use Condoms
If you’re ready to start to think about having sex, then you need to start to think about how to keep yourself sexually healthy. Condoms are a good way to prevent pregnancy and are the only way to help prevent the spread of infection. That’s really important if you don’t want to catch or spread an STI (Sexually Transmitted Infection) like chlamydia, gonorrhoea or HIV.
Condoms, when used correctly, are effective for avoiding unintended pregnancy and the transmission of STIs.
How to use condoms:
- Condoms come with an expiry date; always check your condom is in date and that it has the CE and KITE marks. This means they have been tested to European and British standards.
- Condoms usually have two straight edges and two serrated edges; tear straight down, serrated edge to serrated edge.
- Place the condom on to the erect penis.
- Pinch the top of the condom as you put it on. This leaves space for air (to prevent the condom splitting and space for the ejaculation fluid).
- Roll the condom right down to the base of the penis.
- Keep hold of the condom as you withdraw and remove it once you’re away from your partner.
- Wrap the used condom in a tissue.
- Place it in a bin.
- Do not flush condoms down the toilet.
If you are using lubricant, remember to make sure it is water based as oil based lubricants can damage latex condoms.
You are responsible for looking after your sexual health, and it’s a really good idea to talk to your partner before you start having any kind of sexual activity.
If you are in a relationship or starting a new one, the following guidelines are a really good idea to a happy, healthy sex life:
- COMMUNICATION: You should be able to talk openly and honestly with your partner.
- CONSENT: You need to speak about the sexual activity you both are expecting, and able to respect each other’s views. Only yes means yes when it comes to consent. Remember; if you are under the age of 13, the law says you cannot consent to any form of sexual activity.
- CONTRACEPTION: There are lots of different methods of contraception; you need to find the right method for you and/or your partner. Make an appointment together to speak to a specialist nurse so they can help you choose the best method for you.
- CONDOMS: We recommend that you use condoms alongside your regular method of contraception, and both have a sexual health test to make sure you are not going to be passing any infections on. You can arrange this by calling us on 01772 401140.
If you are under the age of 25, you can get free condoms from any of our Wrapped condom distribution sites. Click here for more information.
Condoms are also available for free to under 25s at all of our CaSH clinics and to people of all ages within Blackburn with Darwen. They are also available from most GPs, available to buy at all pharmacies and a variety of other locations.
What to do if a condom fails – No method is 100% effective!
If your condom fails or you have had unprotected sex, you could be at risk of unplanned pregnancy and/or STIs. Females can access free emergency contraception at any of our clinics, most GPs and some pharmacies. The sooner the emergency contraception is taken, the more effective it is. You may also be at risk of STIs and we recommend that you attend a sexual health clinic for testing.