Condoms & Contraception
Are You Thinking About Contraception?
There are many different types of contraceptives available and making the right choice can be complicated. Some things you may want to consider are:
• How reliable is the method?
• How does it affect my body?
• Do I need a prescription for it?
• How much does it cost?
• Does it offer protection from Sexually Transmitted Infections (STI`s) and HIV?
• Is it still reliable if I'm ill?
• How is it used?
• How easily available is it?
• Can I use it if I'm under 16?
• How can I discuss contraception with my partner?
Some forms of contraception will only be issued with a doctor’s prescription from your GP, Contraception & Sexual Health Clinic (CaSH), or Young Person’s Clinic. It’s a good idea to visit one of these in any case possibly with a list of questions that you have, so that you can talk about the method that would suit you best. Consultations are free and confidential.
There is a lot of choice from coils (IUS and IUDs), implants, contraceptive pills and condoms. Coils and Implants can last from 2- 5 years and you might find that it takes a few months to adjust to any hormonal contraceptives. You need to think about what is the best method for you.
Condoms are very effective if used properly – they protect both of you from STI`s (inc.HIV) as well as being a contraceptive – and they’re FREE at the CaSH (Contraception & Sexual Health) Clinic, Young Person’s Clinic & some GPs. Remember though that some sexually transmitted infections can pass across through foreplay, oral , anal and vaginal sex- so think about what you do and when you use a condom.
How To Use a Condom
Open the wrapper carefully so as not to damage the condom. Squeeze the air out of the top as you’re rolling it on Unroll the condom all the way down the erect penis (is only unrolls properly on way; make sure the rim is on the outside).
While withdrawing the penis hold onto the base to stop the condom slipping off.
Dispose of condom by wrapping in tissue and putting in the bin.
If the condom feels uncomfortable, try another type or brand - they are all slightly different.
Practice BEFORE you have sex. . You can also ask for a demonstration at the Family Planning Clinic, Contraception & Sexual Health Clinic (CaSH), Young Person’s Clinic & some GPs.
• Do check the foil to make sure it’s a BSI kitemarked or CE condom
• Do check the expiry date
• Don’t keep condoms anywhere hot (like a sunny window sill)
• Don’t use a condom more than once
• Don’t flush it down the toilet!
Don`t use any oil based products such as baby lotion or massage oil when using condoms!!! This will cause the condom to SPLIT.
There are many places you can get condoms for free:
• CASH Clinics
• Young People's Drop-Ins
• Some GP's
• Sexual Health Services in Schools
• GUM clinics
You can also buy some contraceptives at chemists and condoms are also available to buy in most shops, supermarkets and public toilets.
With any contraception how reliable it is depends on how well it is being used – so it’s important to find out as much as you can about a method (before you need to use it!)
Further Advice and Information
0800 28 29 30
Relationships, pregnancy, safer sex, lists of local clinics etc. for young people aged 12-18 only
Sexual Health Direct
0845 122 8690
Confidential information and advice on STIs, pregnancy choices, abortion and planning a pregnancy, contraception, and sexual assault referral centres.
Ask Brook for under 25s 0808 802 1234 free from all telephones including mobiles.
24-Hour Information Line on 020 7950 7700
Text Brook: Create a new text message, with the keywords 'BROOK INFO'. Send your message to 81222. You will then receive a list of options of information topics to choose from. Select the number of the topic that you want. Press reply, type in the number and send. Your text will be directed to an automated service and you should receive a reply within a few minutes.