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How to choose condom

It’s an important and popular question that most condom users – both new and veteran condom users – ask: How to choose condom? Best condom? What size condom do I need?

Condoms are extremely effective at preventing pregnancy and sexually transmitted infections (STIs). But which condom is the best? There is no best condom for everybody but you can choose the best condom for yourself. Condoms come in many shapes and styles. They are available in different lengths, widths, and strengths. With so many kinds of condoms out there, it’s tough to know how to pick the right one. It’s important to think about what the condom is made of, if it comes with lubricant, what size to buy, how to check the quality, etc. To figure out how to choose read more.

How to choose condom – Condom Material

How to choose condom

Condoms are made from 3 materials:

Latex: a kind of rubber; the most common and effective type of condom to prevent pregnancy and STDs. But remember to only use water-based lubes with these. Unfortunately, some women have sensitivity to latex that causes an unbearable burning irritation.

Polyurethane: a type of plastic; Polyurethane condoms also protect against STIs and prevent pregnancy, and are great for those with a sensitivity to latex. Durex Avanti and Trojan Supra are made out of polyurethane. These transmit heat well, and are ultra-thin and strong so they may feel more comfortable. Both water-based and oil-based lubricants can be used with these condoms. Polyurethane isn’t as elastic as latex, so these condoms may slip off more easily during sex.

Natural skin: (lambskin). This type can help prevent a pregnancy, but not STDs. Lambskin condoms are made out of lamb intestines and while the pores of this material are not large enough to allow sperm through, much smaller bacteria and viruses may easily slip in and out. So lambskin condoms DO prevent pregnancy, but DON’T protect against STIs including HIV. Some people noted that these break easily so be careful.

How to choose condom – Condom lubricant

Condoms can come “wet” (with lubrication) or dry (non-lubricated). Lubrication can help prevent condom breakage, and many people prefer lubricated condoms because they may make sex more comfortable. Keep in mind, only water-based or silicone-based lubrication can be used with latex condoms. But some lubes on condoms contain the spermicide Nonoxynol- 9. This can also cause irritation, so before declaring that you are allergic to latex, try using a condom that is free of spermicide first. If the spermicide bothers you, buy a condom without it and use your own separate personal lube instead.

How to choose condom – Condom Size

Studies have shown that almost half of all people who use condoms feel their condom of choice did not fit properly. There is no standard length for condoms, but ones made from latex rubber should stretch to fit the length of a man’s erect penis. Condom widths can vary; there is about a 1.5 cm difference between the smallest and largest condom. A condom that is too small and tight may tear, and one that is too big may be more likely to slip off. You may have to experiment to find one that works for you.
Smaller, ‘closer’ fit condoms are typically labeled trim or snug fit. You may find larger condoms labeled as XL, XXL or Magnum.

How to choose the Right Size Condom for You

Pinch the closed end of the condom when first putting it on, before rolling it. Pinching the condom in this way leaves room for any air pressure that builds up, helping to prevent the condom from bursting. Once you’ve done that, roll it down, all the way (otherwise, it might slip off during intercourse). Once the condom is on all the way, pay attention NOW (before any sexual activity) to how it feels. If it’s too loose, with space between the condom and skin, it might slip off… it’s too big. On the other hand, if it’s too tight, it may break during intercourse – big problem there! The root cause of condoms breaking is due to the girth of the user’s shaft, not his length. So, in this case, you need a wider condom than what you’re currently using. The best tip for getting the correct size condom is to get a variety of condoms and try them all. Get a variety pack. Get different brands and styles. Try them.

How to choose condom – Condom Quality

Look at the labeling – make sure to read the condom label to check if it is FDA-approved for use against unplanned pregnancy and STDs. According to FDA regulations, anything that “sufficiently resembles” a condom must comply with FDA standards – including novelty condoms. Condoms have expiration (Exp) or manufacture (MFG) date on the box and on each condom’s individual package. A condom used after the expiration date is more likely to tear or break. There should also be a package insert explaining how to use the condom properly, how to store it, and how to maximize effectiveness.

How to choose condom – Condom Strength

Condoms come in regular strength and thicker strength. Some people may prefer thicker condoms (sometimes called extra strong or ultra strong), believing that these are more effective. Thinner condoms tend to allow for more sensation. As long as the condom is FDA approved, either strength is equally effective.

How to choose condom – added pleasure

Some condoms are colored, have ribs or pleasure spots, some are flavored, and some even tingle. Just be sure to read the labels on these to make sure they say that they’re effective in preventing pregnancy and STIs. There are many styles of condoms. They may be regular shaped (with straight sides), form- fitting (indented below the head of the penis), or they may be flared (wider over the head of the penis). The differences in shape are designed to suit various personal preferences and enhance pleasure. Condoms can also have different tips, including a reservoir tip, a plain tip, a spiral tip and an over-sized tip. Condoms are also available with various textures, such as ribs, bumps/studs, or a combination of both. The positioning of the ribs and/or bumps is designed to maximize pleasure.

How to choose condom – Condom Style

You can also try out a female condom. This is another option that the woman inserts inside her vagina instead of the traditional condoms that fit on the man’s penis. It’s made out of polyurethane, contains no spermicide, and is 95% effective at preventing pregnancy. They tend to make noise though, which can kill the mood, and some women find them harder to insert than male condoms. They’re also a little bit more expensive, but they may protect you better from STIs since they cover up more of your mucous membrane.

Novelty Condoms

These are special condoms usually intended more for fun and sex play, and they do not usually offer any protection against STDs or pregnancy. These condoms should be labeled ‘FOR NOVELTY USE ONLY.’ Condoms can come in all different colors (even in multi-colors!) and flavors. Generally, flavored condoms are meant for oral sex as the flavoring may cause infection if the condom is used for intercourse. However, not all novelty condoms are created equal. Some colored, flavored, and novelty-type condoms are FDA-approved to be used as contraception. Make sure you exercise caution while buying novelty condoms. Read the label! If there is not an FDA approval, or if it says something to the effect of “novelty condom,” make sure that a FDA- approved condom is worn under the novelty one for sex. Novelty condoms are usually fine for foreplay.

How to buy condoms

Many online condom retailers will allow you to buy condoms “grab-bag” style where you get lots of different types to try out (another nice aspect of shopping online (even just browsing) is that they usually list the dimensions of the condoms, which can be helpful if you are having fit problems). Or, try buying a new type every time you go to the store (if you get some you don’t like, just toss them out and get something else…they’re not that expensive). You could also ask your partner if he or she has a favorite condom and give those a try! The search for the perfect condom doesn’t have to be lame or boring. It’s pretty darn cool to try out different condoms with a partner and find out what you like. It might be fun to make up a list of the different condoms you’ve tried and “rate” or “grade” all of them! Make it an experiment and an adventure.

Whatever your choice, make sure the condom is used correctly – following all steps.

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