Condoms are a staple of a good, healthy sex life. They can also add an extra element of excitement to the bedroom, in the wide variety of sizes and flavours that are available. Occasionally though, a doubt or a question can pop into our heads about how to use them or whether or not they are completely safe.
We have pulled together some of the most frequent questions that we get asked about condoms and have answered them in a way that we hope you will find helpful.
#1. Are Condoms Safe?
The short answer is yes. As long as you use them correctly and each time that you have sex, they will be successful in protecting you against STI’s and pregnacies. There is a very small margin for failure, but it is always advisable to use them as protection.
#2. What Lubricant Can and Can’t Be Used With Condoms?
It is recommended not to use oil-based products as lubricants, such as some massage oils and Vaseline. This oil can react with the latex, causing it to break down and make them less effective. Read any information on the lubricant packaging, as most companies will have done the research on their own product and will specify either way if it is safe to use with a condom. If in doubt, choose a lubricant which specifies that it is either silicone-based or water-based as these are considered to be suitable.
#3. What Does The CE Mark On A Condom Mean?
This is a European Economic Area symbol of approval. This basically means that the condom has been through a variety of safety checks and has met all of the requirements of European Legislation. It is recommended that you only purchase condoms which have been through this process and have achieved this CE mark.
#4. I’m Allergic to Latex, Can I Still Use Condoms?
This allergy is more widely recognised than ever before. Manufacturers have therefore created a latex-free condom which can be found in the range of most trusted sexual health brands. Simply check the packaging carefully before buying and you will be having fun between the sheets in no time! If you find that you are still reacting badly to non-latex condoms, consider visiting your doctor or nurse practitioner as there may be something else that you are allergic to. They will then be able to suggest an alternative type of condom for you.
#5. Are Femidoms Safe To Use?
As with any condom, if a femidom is used correctly it is considered safe to use. It will protect you from STIs and unwanted pregnancy, with no side effects. In the same way as standard condoms, there is a risk of tearing if they are not used properly. Be sure to check that the variety you choose has the CE mark on the packaging.
#6. What Are The Safest Condoms To Use?
The reputation of a brand is always a good way to decide if a condom is safe and of a high enough quality to trust. Durex, for example, have a world-wide following and is often the preferred choice. But as long as you check that the condom is CE mark approved and is purchased from a reputable high street or online store, you should be confident that you will be protected. Always be sure to check that the condom is within its use-by date, as age can make them less effective.
#7. Are All Condoms The Same?
No, they are far from all being the same. You will discover an amazingly wide variety of size, colour, flavour, thickness and texture. They can offer you different sensations that may increase your sexual excitement, in a range of fits that may suit either partner better than other types. The obvious solution as to which condom is best for you, is to simply experiment and have lots of fun in the process!
#8. Are Novelty Condoms Safe To Use?
This is another time where you should check the packaging before use. If the brand has specified that their condom is ‘for novelty use only,’ take this to mean that it not offer you protection for STIs and pregnancy. It should be considered as a type of sex toy instead, that is intended for stimulation rather than protection. Once again make sure that the condom carries a CE mark of approval and if the novelty condom does not cover the length of the penis, it can not be relied upon to keep you safe.