How does a male condom work?


Condoms stop the sperm from reaching the egg by creating a physical barrier to prevent fertilization. When used according to instructions, the male condom is 98% effective. This means that two women out of 100 will get pregnant in a year. If it is not used according to instructions, more women will become pregnant. A condom must not be used more than once. A couple must use a new condom each time they have sex.

It is important to know that some lubricants can make latex condoms less effective, but all lubricants are safe to use with condoms made from polyurethane or polyisoprene. Water-based lubricants, available in pharmacies and sexual health clinics, are safe to use with all condoms, including latex ones.

Some male condoms come with spermicide on them.  Spermicide is a chemical that kills sperm. These condoms are slowly being phased out, as research has found that a spermicide called nonoxynol 9 does not protect against STIs such as chlamydia and HIV, and may even increase the risk of infection.  Nonoxynol 9 may also cause vaginal irritation for some women, which can increase suseptability to infections. It is best to avoid using spermicide-lubricated condoms, or spermicide as an additional lubricant. 46