How Can I Prevent Hiv Transmission And Stds During Vaginal Sex
HIV is spread during vaginal sex when HIV-infected semen, vaginal fluid or menstrual blood comes into contact with the mucous membranes of the vagina or penis. Some STDs are spread the same way as HIV. Other STDs are transmitted through contact with infected skin or mucous membranes. In general, since there is more mucous membrane area in the vagina, and a greater possibility of small cuts in the vagina, women are more likely than men to get infected with HIV and some STDs through unprotected vaginal sex. Teenagers and women entering menopause are at especially high risk for getting HIV and other STDs because the tissue lining the vagina is more fragile at these ages. Cuts or sores on the penis or vagina raise the risk of HIV infection and STDs during vaginal sex for both men and women. Using a latex male condom or a female condom lowers your risk of getting HIV and STDs through vaginal sex.
How We Picked And Tested
The experts we consulted agreed that size matters. In fact, it may be the most important factor when selecting a condom. A representative of the British brand TheyFit told us that in the companys research as well as in customer feedback users report detecting a difference in condoms that are just 2 millimeters larger or smaller in size. Good fit is an important safety factor, said Erin Valdes of Condomania. A condom that is too small might not completely cover the penis, and there is an increased risk of breaking. If the condom is too big theres a risk that it may slide off. Within those parameters, though, youll find a huge gray area in which a condom will still stay on with full coverage and yet feel either more snug or more roomy. Peoples preferences vary widely, so dont be afraid to experiment within your range to determine what feels best for you.
With the exception of Trojan Magnum, the majority of condoms sold at drugstores are of average sizegenerally about 2 inches wide when flattened, and between 7 inches and 8 inches long. Around 50 percent of American males fall into this category, according to Lucky Bloke, meaning that half of all people with penises who buy standard condoms may be wearing the wrong size, which can reduce both pleasure and effectiveness.
The majority of condoms sold at drugstores are of average sizegenerally about 2 inches wide when flattened, and between 7 inches and 8 inches long.
Do Birth Control Methods Other Than Condoms Reduce The Risk Of Stds Including Hiv
No. Only condoms reduce the risk of pregnancy, STDs and HIV. Birth control pills, the birth control patch, contraceptive injections such as Depo-Provera, intrauterine devices , diaphragms, and any birth control methods other than condoms do not provide protection against STDs and HIV. You should use a latex male condom or a female condom for STD and HIV prevention along with any other method you use to prevent pregnancy. Condoms can prevent the spread of other STDs, like HPV or genital herpes, only when the condom covers all of the infected area or sores.
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What Condoms Are The Best For Preventing Pregnancy
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Introduction To Male Condoms
Birth control is a way for men and women to prevent pregnancy. There are many different methods of birth control some types also protect against sexually transmitted diseases. Condoms are one type of birth control that in addition to preventing pregnancy also prevent the spread of STDs.
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What Are The Types Of Condoms
There are different types of condoms. You should only use one type of condom at a time during intercourse. Using more than one condom creates friction, increasing the odds of a rip or tear. Condom types include:
- Regular : These condoms go over the penis to collect ejaculation fluids.
- Internal : An internal condom goes inside the vagina to keep sperm from entering the uterus. A soft, flexible ring attached to the condom stays outside the vagina for easy removal. Internal condoms may not be as effective as regular condoms in preventing STDs.
- Dental dams: These thin latex or polyurethane sheets serve as a barrier between a persons mouth and a partners genitals or anus during oral sex. Dental dams reduce your risk of STDs such as oropharyngeal human papillomavirus .
If You’re Under 16 Years Old
Contraception services are free and confidential, including for people under the age of 16.
If you’re under 16 and want contraception, the doctor, nurse or pharmacist will not tell your parents as long as they believe you fully understand the information you’re given and the decisions you’re making.
Doctors and nurses work under strict guidelines when dealing with people under 16. They’ll encourage you to consider telling your parents, but they will not make you.
The only time a professional might want to tell someone else is if they believe you’re at risk of harm, such as abuse. The risk would need to be serious, and they would usually discuss this with you first.
Page last reviewed: 12 October 2020 Next review due: 12 October 2023
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Do Condoms Help Protect Against Stds
Yes. Latex, polyurethane, and polyisoprene condoms can help prevent many STDs if they are used correctly. Condoms made of lambskin do not work well to prevent STDs, especially HIV/AIDs.
Condoms do not protect against infections spread from sores on the skin not covered by a condom . Couples having sex must always use condoms to protect against STDs even when using another method of birth control.
Abstinence is the only method that always prevents pregnancy and STDs.
How Can I Prevent Hiv Transmission And Stds During Oral Sex
Although oral sex presents less of a risk for HIV and some STDs than vaginal or anal sex, the risk still exists. Herpes is commonly passed between genitals and the mouth, and you can get a bacterial infection in your mouth or throat from an STD. The risk of HIV transmission through oral sex is low, but people have been infected this way. Oral sex can be made safer by using a latex barrier. For oral sex performed on a man, a non-lubricated condom is recommended. For oral sex performed on a woman, a dental dam , a non-lubricated condom that is cut open or a plastic wrap can be used to cover the vagina. Oral-anal sex is a high-risk activity that may be made safer by using a dental dam.
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Should I Be Worried About Pregnancy If I Used A Condom
Condoms are a popular method of birth control since they are highly effective when it comes to preventing pregnancy and sexually transmitted diseases . They also don’t contain any hormones. When condoms are used correctly, they have a very high rate of preventing pregnancy. Even so, they aren’t 100% effective, so it’s a good idea to use condoms along with another form of birth control to practice safe sex.
How Can I Make Condoms More Effective
The best way to make condoms work as well as possible is to use them correctly every single time you have vaginal, oral, and anal sex. That means wearing it the whole time, from start to finish. Make sure the condom is rolled on your penis the right way before theres any skin-to-skin genital contact. Read more about how to use condoms correctly.
Using condoms + another form of birth control is a great way to get extra pregnancy prevention AND protection against STDs. Using withdrawal while also wearing a condom can help keep sperm out of the vagina and lower the risk for pregnancy.
You shouldnt use a condom worn on the penis together with a internal condom. Condoms are designed to be used on their own, and doubling up wont necessarily give you extra protection. One condom used correctly is all the protection you need. Also make sure your condoms aren’t expired check the date on the wrapper or box.
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The Best Large Condom
With their ultra-thin latex, pleasurably flared shape, and generous sizing, Kimono Microthin XLs are some of the best condoms available for large penises.
Pros: Flared shape for extra pleasure, very thin latex, unobtrusive smell/taste, great for both circumcised and uncircumcised penises
Cons: Might be too baggy in the head for some
If your penis is on the large end of the spectrum and you use a too-small condom, the protection won’t be comfortable and may potentially break. Larger penises call for larger condoms and the Japanese brand Kimono makes some of the best, alongside some of the thinnest condoms in the business.
“They are truly excellent because, in Japan, condoms go through a much more rigorous testing process,” Jack Lamon from Come As You Are told me. Melissa White, CEO of condom retailer Lucky Bloke, agrees: “Condom use is much, much higher in Japan, so they just work harder and make better condoms.”
Though its standard size skews small, Kimono’s Microthin XL condoms are 56 mm wide at the base and flare out to 58-63 mm in the shaft and head . That wider girth can help create an extra sensation for the user via friction, like the One Pleasure Plus above, especially if you put a drop or two of lube inside before putting it on. The extra headroom also makes these a more comfortable choice for uncircumcised penises.
When Should I Call The Doctor
A female using condoms should call the doctor if:
- she might be pregnant
- a condom broke during sex
- there’s a change in the smell or color of her vaginal discharge
- she has unexplained fever or chills
- she has belly or pelvic pain
- she has pain during sex
A male using condoms should call doctor if:
- a condom broke during sex
- there are lesions or bumps on his penis, or his penis hurts
- discharge is coming from the penis
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Can Condoms Provide Protection From Sexually Transmitted Diseases Including Hiv
Yes. Whether you use latex male condoms or female condoms, they are both very effective in preventing HIV and many other STDs when used the right way every time. Condoms may prevent the spread of other STDs, like the Human Papillomavirus or genital herpes, only when the condom covers the infected areas or sores. To find out if you might have an STD, visit your doctor or clinic as soon as you can.
Where Can I Get Free Condoms
There are many places to get free condoms, including sexual health clinics, Planned Parenthood health centers, local health departments, and more. Your school and doctors office are great places to start. Many nurses stations have free condoms available, and colleges tend to give students free condoms at various places throughout campus.
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Durex Pleasure Pack Condoms
- Price: $$$
If youre sharing sex toys with your partner, its a great idea to use condoms. This can reduce the risk of STI transmission.
Using a condom can also give the sex toy a whole new sensation.
You may find it helpful to get something like the Durex Pleasure Pack, which includes a variety of popular Durex condoms.
This can be extra fun for masturbation, as it lets you figure out which condoms you enjoy the most.
Also, keep in mind that its best to make sure youre using a water-based lube when combining silicone toys and condoms. Other types of lube can damage the toy.
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Verywell / Sabrina Jiang
External condoms are a highly effective form of birth control and offer the best protection against HIV and many other sexually transmitted infections . They can be used for vaginal and anal sex, and for oral sex performed on men.
Youre often told to use external condoms when you become sexually active but rarely told how to choose them. External condoms come in many sizes, materials, and even flavors. There are regular latex external condoms, latex-free for those with allergies, ones that are ribbed for extra pleasure, and extra-sensitive for those who dont want to feel like theyre wearing an external condom at all. With so much choice, it can be difficult to know which ones to buy.
Planned Parenthood educator Lucy Fisher says that when it comes to protection, using external condoms correctly is more important than buying a certain brand. All latex and plastic condoms provide similar protection against pregnancy and STIs, regardless of their shape, size or flavor. Feel free to try different types of condoms to find the one that you like best.
No matter what you go for, the best external condom is ultimately one you use correctly.
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Does Spermicide Provide Additional Protection Against Hiv
You should not use additional or separate applications of spermicide for HIV prevention during vaginal or anal sex. Women who use spermicidal cream or jelly for pregnancy prevention should also use a condom to protect against HIV and to provide better protection against pregnancy than spermicide alone.
Spermicides contain the chemical nonoxynol-9 . Although N-9 kills HIV in test tubes, one study showed that N-9 inserted into the vagina may irritate the vagina and actually increase the risk of HIV infection during vaginal sex. N-9 may also irritate the lining of the rectum and should not be used for anal sex.
Some condoms are pre-lubricated with a lubricant containing N-9. These condoms still provide greater protection against HIV than not using a condom. However, a lubricated condom without N-9 may be the best for HIV prevention.
How Do Condoms Work
Condoms work by keeping semen from entering the vagina. The male condom is placed on the penis when it becomes erect. It is unrolled all the way to the base of the penis while holding the tip of the condom to leave some extra room at the end. This creates a space for semen after ejaculation and makes it less likely that the condom will break.
After the male ejaculates, he should hold the condom at the base of the penis as he pulls out of the vagina. He must do this while the penis is still erect. This prevents the condom from slipping off when he gets soft, which could let sperm enter the vagina.
The female condom is inserted into the vagina using the closed-end ring. The other ring creates the open end of the condom. The condom then lines the walls of the vagina, creating a barrier between the sperm and the cervix. The female condom can be inserted up to 8 hours before intercourse. It should be removed immediately after sex and before standing up.
The male and female condoms should not be used at the same time because friction can break them, make them stick together, or make one or the other slip out of place during intercourse. If a condom breaks or slips, semen can get through, making the condom less likely to prevent pregnancy or STDs.
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How Do I Use Condoms
If you are sexually active, keep a few condoms with you so you’ll always have one when you need it. Put on a new condom every single time you have sex. Use a condom when you have vaginal, oral, or anal sex. Put on a different condom for each type of sex you have.
Keep the condom on the whole time you’re having sex. Don’t take it off at any point. If it breaks, stop and replace it right away. Donât use male and female condoms at the same time. One can stick to the other and pull it out of place or tear it.
To use male condoms:
To use female condoms:
What Are The Different Types Of Contraception
Condoms are good because theyre the only contraception that prevents HIV and STIs as well as pregnancy. But for them to work, you have to use them correctly every time you have sex.
This is very effective at preventing pregnancy, but it has to be taken every day or it stops working.
This prevents pregnancy for 8-13 weeks, so there is no need to remember to take anything. But you do need to remember when your next injection is due.
This is a small plastic rod that is fitted in a females arm. It will prevent pregnancy for three, four or five years depending on the type you get, so there is no need to remember to take anything. But it must be removed or replaced when the time period is up.
An intra-uterine device also known as the copper coil, the coil or the coil IUD is a small, T-shaped device that goes in the womb to prevent pregnancy for five to ten years.
Also known as the withdrawal method. This is when the penis is taken out of the vagina before ejaculation . This is unreliable because the man has to make sure they pull out before any semen comes out and this is difficult to do.
If you have unprotected sex, the condom brakes or you forget to take your pill, emergency contraception can prevent pregnancy.
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