Condoms Etc…

condom2Generally, when people think of condoms, they think of male or external condoms. External condoms work by providing a barrier between skin contact and bodily fluids (like semen, vaginal fluid and blood). Condoms and other barrier methods can help to prevent an unexpected pregnancy or a sexually transmitted infection. Take a look…

Male or external Condoms

An external condom is a thin latex sheath that covers the penis. They can be used for oral, anal, and vaginal sex to help prevent pregnancy and STIs.

Condoms should always be used to help protect against STIs (even if a hormonal method is also being used), unless each partner has tested negative and are in exclusive relationships.

How is it used?

In order for an external condom to work the best, it’s important to know all the steps on using it properly.

  1. Talk to your partner about safe sex
  2. Store condoms away from heat
  3. Check the expiration date
  4. Check for a “pillow” of air to be sure it hasn’t been damaged
  5. Open carefully – don’t rip it!
  6. Put a condom on before any sexual contact and when the penis is hard
  7. Pinch the tip of the condom as you unroll it onto the penis, be sure to leave space and make sure no air is trapped in the condom’s tip.
  8. Use enough water-based lubrication to reduce friction and tearing
  9. Never wear more than one condom at once. They are more likely to break because of friction.
  10. Withdraw the penis after ejaculation to be sure it doesn’t slip off
  11. Use a new condom every time for oral, anal, and vaginal sex.

How well does it work?

With typical use, the male or external condom is 85% effective at preventing pregnancy. If used correctly, consistently, and all of the time, the external condom is 98% effective.

Female or internal Condoms

The internal condom is a soft, polyurethane pouch which is inserted into the vagina or anus.

How is it used?

Flexible rings at each end hold the pouch in place. The inner ring stays inside the vagina while the outer ring stays outside over the vulva. If used for anal sex, remove the inner ring and insert the condom into the anus gently with a finger. Be sure the outer ring stays outside the anus at all times.

The internal condom should only be used one time and then discarded. It is pre-lubricated, but extra lubricant is recommended. It may be inserted up to 8 hours before sex.

How well does it work?

With typical use, the female or internal condom is 79% effective at preventing pregnancy. If used correctly, consistently, and all of the time, the internal condom is 98% effective.

Dental Dam

The dental dam is a square of latex used for oral sex on a vagina or anus.

How is it used?

The dam is placed over the vagina or anus to provide a barrier between the genitalia and the mouth. Dental dams reduce the risk of transmitting an STI through the exchange of fluids and skin contact during oral sex.

How well does it work?

There are no available statistics on the effectiveness of the dental dam. If used correctly and consistently, the dental dam provides a barrier between sexual fluids and skin contact to reduce the chance of transmission of STIs.


Free male or external condoms & female or internal condoms and dental dams are available at Teen Clinic. People can walk in or make an appointment to discuss using barrier methods. If you have more questions about barrier methods, ask us online or call us, 303.442.5160.