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Health
26/ 11/ 11
Protecting yourself: Choosing the right condom

Condoms are the only form of protection which can both help to stop the transmission of sexually transmitted infections (STIs) such as HIV. Since condoms prevent the exchange of blood, semen, and vaginal secretions, which are the primary routes of STI transmission.

In recent years, as a result of misinformation and insufficient research, the efficacy of condoms, especially in terms of STI prevention, has been debated in many forums. Research continues to show that condoms are one of the best methods of preventing unwanted pregnancy and are one of the only methods for sexually active individuals to protect themselves against STIs, including HIV.

Male condoms

Natural rubber latex condoms, which have been available for years, are the most common and popular. Condoms are usually made out of latex or polyurethane. If possible, you should use a latex condom, as these are the most effective against viruses such as HIV, and in most countries, they are the type most readily available.

Condoms are now labeled with a size to give a better fit. The larger the width, the larger the size There is no standard length for condoms, though those made from natural rubber will in addition always stretch if necessary to fit the length of the man's erect penis. The width of a condom can also vary. Some condoms have a slightly smaller width to give a "closer" fit, whereas others will be slightly larger. Condoms, which have been properly tested and approved, carry the EEC Standard Mark (CE) and they should be ISO approved.

Types of condoms

  • "Natural membrane" or "sheepskin" condoms are made from the intestinal lining of sheep. It is the oldest type of protection still being used today but these products are specialty items and therefore not used by many. The natural membrane is somewhat porous, therefore not recommended for protection against certain viral diseases, such as hepatitis and HIV. It does, however, protect against pregnancy and bacterial STIs, and some users find them more comfortable than latex condoms.
  • Synthetic polymer condoms, usually polyurethane, are similar to latex and are as effective in preventing pregnancy and STIs. This type of condom can be used by people who are allergic to latex, and can also be used with lubricants that would destroy latex. Some users find them more comfortable, but they are usually more expensive.
  • Spermicide lubricated condoms are coated with nonoxynol-9, If extra protection is a serious concern, use a spermicide as well. These condoms have not been proven to provide extra protection against disease.

Female condoms

The female condom has been available in Europe since 1992 and is now available in dozens of countries throughout the world It is a strong, soft, transparent polyurethane sheath inserted in the vagina before sexual intercourse, providing protection against both pregnancy and sexually transmitted infections.

Female condoms are usually made of polyurethane or latex and are as effective against pregnancy and disease as male condoms. They are relatively new and more expensive than male condoms. This method allows a woman to protect herself from STIs as well as pregnancy.

Reasons to use condoms

  • Condoms are the only contraceptive that also helps prevent the spread of sexually transmitted infections (STIs) including HIV when used properly and consistently.
  • Condoms are one of the most reliable methods of birth control when use properly and consistently.
  • Condoms have none of the medical side-effects of some other birth control methods may have.
  • Condoms are available in various shapes, colours, flavors, textures and sizes- to increase the fun of making love with condoms.
National Gay Helpline

If at any time you require support or you feel like you would like to express your thoughts freely to a person who will understand you, send us an email on support@maltagayrights.org

You may also call the National Gay Helpline, run by MGRM... Tel: +356 21430006 / +356 99255559

The Drachma Parents Group is also an active group within Drachma.  Their mission is that of providing support to parents and friends of LGBT people, read more

contACT

If at any time you require support or you feel like you would like to express your thoughts freely to a person who will understand you, send us an email on support@maltagayrights.org

You may also call the National Gay Helpline, run by MGRM... Tel: +356 21430006 / +356 99255559

Malta Gay Rights Movement (MGRM)

32, Parish Street ,
Mosta ,
MST 2021,
Malta (Europe).
T: +356 2143 0009
M: +356 9925 5559
E: mgrm@maltagayrights.org

The Drachma Parents Group is also an active group within Drachma.  Their mission is that of providing support to parents and friends of LGBT people, read more