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WISH (Weston -Super-Mare) Clinic closed Tues 20/08/19 11.30-14.00 for Staff Training

Condoms

Using a condom when you have sex is the most effective way to reduce your risk of picking up or passing on an STI, including HIV. A condom is the only method that protects against STIs as well as pregnancy.

 

External condoms

An external condom fits over an erect penis and is made of very thin latex (rubber), polyurethane (plastic).

  • Where can I get condoms from?

    Sexual health service

    You can pop into any of the sexual health clinics and ask for condoms.

    Click on Locate A Service to find your nearest Sexual health clinic.

    C.Card

    If you are 13-19 you can get free condoms through the C. This is available at Sexual Health clinic, Youth projects, School Drop-Ins, Pharmacies and GP surgeries.

    When you register for a C.Card you will have a confidential appointment with a trained C.Card worker, who will:

    •    Explain the scheme
    •    Teach you the best way to use condoms
    •    Answer any questions you might have
    •    Give you free condoms
    You don’t need to give your name and they won’t tell your parents/guardians that you have been to see them.

     

    If you already have a C.Card, you can go to any C.Card point and pick up free condoms. You can do this 10 times before you need a new card.

    Click here to find your nearest C:Card point in Bristol.
    Click here to find your nearest C:Card point in North Somerset.
    Click here to find your nearest C:Card point in South Gloucestershire.
    For more information on C.Card click here
  • What age can I get condoms?

    If you are 13-19 you can get free condoms through the C. This is available at Sexual Health clinic, Youth projects, School Drop-Ins, Pharmacies and GP surgeries.

    When you register for a C.Card you will have a confidential appointment with a trained C.Card worker, who will:

    •    Explain the scheme
    •    Teach you the best way to use condoms
    •    Answer any questions you might have
    •    Give you free condoms
    You don’t need to give your name and they won’t tell your parents/guardians that you have been to see them.

    If you already have a C.Card, you can go to any C.Card point and pick up free condoms. You can do this 10 times before you need a new card.

    Click here to find your nearest C:Card point in Bristol.
    Click here to find your nearest C:Card point in North Somerset.
    Click here to find your nearest C:Card point in South Gloucestershire.
  • How do I use a condom properly?

    How to use a condom

    • Use a new condom each time you have sex.
    • Check the ‘use by’ date on the packet – if it’s out of date, don’t use it.
    • Be careful how you take the condom out of the packet – sharp fingernails and jewellery can tear the condom.
    • Find the teat or closed end and hold it between your thumb and finger to keep the air out. This will also help you roll the condom on the right way round.
    • Put the condom on when the penis is fully erect and before the penis touches the vagina, anus or genital area.
    • Still holding the end, roll the condom all the way down the penis.
    • If it won’t roll down then it’s probably on inside out. If so throw it away, start again with a new condom as secretions (sperm and germs) could now be on the outside of the first one.
    • If you have a foreskin, you may find it easier and more comfortable to put the condom on if the foreskin is pulled back. This lets the foreskin move freely and reduces the risk of the condom tearing or slipping off.
    • For anal sex the use of additional lube is important to help prevent the condom breaking. You may need to apply additional silicone or water-based lube in and around the anus.
    • As soon as you’ve ejaculated, and before the penis goes soft, hold the condom firmly in place at the base of the penis while pulling out. Do this slowly and carefully so you don’t spill any semen (the ejaculation fluid that contains sperm).
    • Take off the condom, wrap it and put it in a bin. Never put it down the toilet.
    • Make sure the penis doesn’t touch the genital area again and if you have sex again, use a new condom.

     

  • How effective is it?

    If you follow the instructions, use it properly and use a new one every time you have sex, condoms are 98% effective in preventing a pregnancy.

    Condoms rely on the user, so might not work well if either of you have had too much to drink, have taken drugs or are not sure how to use them properly.

  • Advantages of using external condoms
    • They are the only contraception that helps protect against STIs and pregnancy.
    • There are no medical side effects.
    • External condoms come in lots of sizes, colours and flavours.
    • They prevent sperm being left on sheets or clothes.
  • Disadvantages of using external condoms
    • They rely on the user at a time of high excitement and might not be put on properly.
    • They have to be disposed of afterwards.
  • Tips when using a condom
    • Make sure you always choose a condom with a British kite mark or a CE Mark. That means they’ve been machine-tested to a really high standard
    • Check the expiry date
    • Store in a cool, dark place
    • Never use a condom more than once
    • Never wear two condoms at once
    • Don’t use oil-based lubricants with them (such as baby-oil)

Internal condoms

The difference between an external and internal condom is that the internal condom is inserted into the vagina or anus before sex. They are 95% effective, if used correctly.

  • Where can I get internal condoms from?

    Sexual health service

    Internal condoms (or Femidom) are used less commonly that external condoms, and therefore are less widely available.

    They are available for pick-up at our Unity@Central clinic.

    Click on Locate A Service to find your nearest Sexual health clinic.

  • How do I use an internal condom for vaginal or anal sex?

    Using the internal condom for vaginal sex

    • You can put the condom in when you’re lying down, squatting or with one leg on a chair. Find the position that suits you best.
    • Hold the closed end of the condom and squeeze the inner ring between your thumb and middle finger. Keeping your index finger on the inner ring helps you to insert the condom into the vagina.
    • With your other hand, separate the labia (folds of skin) around your vagina. Put the squeezed ring into the vagina and push it up as far as you can.
    • Make sure that the outer ring stays close against the area outside your vagina (vulva).
    • It’s a good idea to guide the penis into the condom to make sure it doesn’t enter the vagina outside the condom. You may need to hold the outer ring in place, outside the vagina, to stop the condom being accidentally pushed into the vagina.
    • As the internal condom is loose-fitting, it’ll move during sex. But don’t worry, you’ll still be protected as long as the penis stays inside the condom.
    • To remove the condom after sex, simply twist the outer ring to keep any semen inside. Then pull the condom out gently.
    • Wrap the condom and put it in a bin. Never put it down the toilet.
    • Make sure the penis doesn’t touch the genital area again and if you have sex again, use a new condom.

    Using the internal condom for anal sex

    • Remove the inner ring and place the condom on the penis, making sure it covers the whole penis.
    • You may need to apply additional silicone or water-based lube in and around the anus.
    • Make sure that the outer ring of the condom stays close against the area outside your anus.
    • As the internal condom is loose-fitting, it’ll move during sex. But don’t worry, you’ll still be protected as long as the penis stays inside the condom.
    • To remove the condom after sex, simply twist the outer ring to keep any semen inside. Then pull the condom out gently.
    • Wrap the condom and put it in a bin. Never put it down the toilet.
    • Make sure the penis doesn’t touch the anal area again and if you have sex again, use a new condom.
  • Advantages of using internal condoms
    • Condoms are the only contraception that helps protect against STIs and pregnancy
    • There are no medical side effects
    • They can be put in up to 8 hours before sex
  • Disadvantages of using internal condoms
    • When using an internal condom, you need to make sure the penis enters the condom and not enter the space at the side of the condom. The open end of the condom need to stay on the outside of the vagina or anus
    • Internal condoms are less effective than external condoms

What are dental dams?

A dental dam is a soft plastic latex or polyurethane square (about 15cm in size), which is used to cover the genital area or anus during oral sex. The dam acts as a barrier to help prevent sexually transmitted infections (STIs). They are not widely available but please feel free to ask staff at Unity about how to get them.

Further information about dental dams can be found here.

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