A condom is a thin rubber cover for the penis. You put a condom on a stiff penis before penetration. It catches the semen when a man ejaculates.

Method of contraception

You can use a condom during sexual intercourse if you do not plan to have a child. It is a method of contraception.

Protection against HIV and STIs

A condom protects you and your partner against HIV and most STIs. It lowers the risk of an infection with other STIs. It does not always completely cover soresblisters and warts on your and your partner’s skin. In this case, you run a risk of infection with an STI. 

To protect against HIV and lower the risk of other STIs, use a condom when having vaginal sex or anal sex

Avoid getting blood and semen in your mouth during oral sex; then the risk of getting HIV becomes very low. Using a condom when having oral sex can lower the risk of getting other STIs.

If you and your partner do not want to use a condom, talk to a doctor about getting tested for STIs or HIV.

Buying condoms

You can buy condoms in a pharmacy or supermarket. Sometimes you can also find them in other stores, bars and nightclubs or vending machines. Some organisations offer condoms free of charge.

Female condom

There are also female condoms.

Female condom
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