Be my friend
Condoms are the best way to protect against sexually transmitted infections (STIs), like chlamydia and unwanted pregnancy. Condoms are worn on the penis during sex to prevent semen getting into your partner's body when the lad ejaculates (or comes). The condom should be put on when the penis is erect (hard) and before it comes into contact with your partner's body. Condoms are made from latex or polyurethane (thin rubber) so seek alternative contraception advice if you or your partner is allergic to it.
If you use a lubricant when you have sex, make sure it's water based. Oil based lubricants, such as baby oil, can damage condoms and make them more likely to break. If the condom does split while you're having sex, it is important to see your GP or go to your local sexual health (GUM) clinic straight away.
How to use a condom
Only when there's no further contact with your partner's body should you take off the condom. Wrap the used condom in a tissue and put it in the bin never flush condoms down the toilet.
Getting used to condoms can take a little practice, but don't worry it doesn't take long before they start to feel like an essential part of your sex life.
Where can I get condoms?
Even if you are under 16, you can buy condoms in lots of places including chemists, petrol stations, vending machines and supermarkets. Most shops have condoms on the shelf, so you don’t have to ask for them. Remember the staff see condoms everyday so it won’t be uncomfortable even if you do need to ask.
You can also get free condoms with a C-Card, from your local young person's sexual health clinic, GUM clinic or Family Planning clinic, and from some doctors.
Condom tips to remember