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Tips for safe condom use

A big part of sexual health is knowing how to practice safe sex. There is no point in using a condom if you aren't going to do it properly. Incorrect usage greatly reduces a condom's effectiveness and chances of getting pregnant and contracting STDs are increased.

Safe condom use starts with knowing how to properly place the condom on the penis. A condom should be applied to an erect penis before it touches a female's vagina. Follow these steps for safe application and use:

  1. Take the condom out of the package, making sure not to puncture or rip it in the process.
  2. Roll the condom onto the penis with a small pouch left at the end. This is where the semen will gather upon ejaculation.
  3. Be sure there is no air between the penis and the condom; this can cause the condom to break or can force semen up the side of the penis and out the top of the condom.
  4. Leave the condom on until the male has ejaculated and intercourse is finished.
  5. When withdrawing, grasp the condom at the base of the penis. Do this while still erect to avoid spilling semen.

Also remember: never reuse a condom and never double-up. The friction between two condoms can cause them to rip, making it less effective than one condom.

The Right Fit

Next is selecting a condom. First, decide whether you are going to use a male or female condom. Male condoms have a lower failure rate and are generally less expensive than female condoms. Consider the following product reviews when choosing which type of condom you are going to purchase:

  • Trojan condoms. Although not known for their thinness, Trojan is a dependable brand nonetheless. Many American men like the way they fit, which is important for safe sex.
  • Crown condoms. Crown brand's "Skinless Skin Condom" is one of the thinnest condoms out there and is very sensitive. The company also offers studded and lubricated varieties for different needs.
  • Durex condoms. Durex have an extra-thin variety that are touted as some of the least-invasive condoms out there. Many men don't like wearing condoms because the sensation is not as great as going au naturel, so Durex is probably the next best alternative.
  • Pleasure Plus condoms. Unlike other brands, the company claims, Pleasure Plus condoms can increase stimulation for both man and woman with an extra piece of latex on the underside of the condom.
  • Flavored condoms. Many brands make flavored varieties of their most popular condoms. These are exactly the same as other condoms, but are colored and have flavor added to the outside (most often fruit, chocolate or candy flavors).

Condoms are an affordable method of birth control, but still, they don't come cheap. Many sporting and music events are sponsored by condom companies. This is where you can score fistfuls of free condoms – and not to worry, they're not duds! These condoms are just as safe and are just as high in quality as those you would buy at a store. Generic-brand condoms available from health clinics are equally safe and dependable, as long as they are used correctly.

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