The Condom

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Condoms are the only contraceptive that protect you against sexually transmitted infections (STIs). They are also known as barrier contraceptives.

When used perfectly, they prevent pregnancy in 98% of cases, but this is closer to 85% in real life. Other contraceptives have lower failure rates, and you may wish to consider adding another one such as the pill if preventing pregnancy is very important to you.

The most common condoms are the ones that cover the penis, but there are also condoms that can be worn by women.

How to get condoms in Malta:

Condoms for men are relatively cheap and easily available in Malta. You can find them in supermarkets, pharmacies and dispenser machines in public restrooms, including at the University of Malta. You may also get them over the internet, such as the online shop Pleasure Malta. The average cost is around one Euro per male condom.

Most condoms are made of latex, but if you're allergic, don't worry. You can buy good-quality latex-free male condoms from your local pharmacy.

Female condoms are less widely available in Malta, but you can buy them online from Pleasure Malta.

Store condoms away from direct sunlight and be sure to use them within the expiry date printed on the cover. Only use condoms that have the CE mark or BSI Kitemark on the packet, which means they have been through safety tests.

How to use male condoms:

- Open the packet, taking care not to tear the condom inside. Teeth or sharp objects should not be used. Careful if you have long nails.

- Pinch the tip of the condom between your fingers to push out air and place it over the penis. Roll out the edges gently to the base of the penis.

- After sex, remove the condom while the penis is still erect and make sure semen doesn't spill out. Throw away

the condom in a bin. Now take extra care that the penis doesn't touch your partner's genital area.

How to use female condoms:

- Open the packet, taking care not to tear the condom inside. Teeth or sharp objects should not be used. Careful if you have long nails.

- Squeeze the smaller ring at the closed end of the condom and put it into the vagina. Make sure the large ring at the open end of the condom covers the area around the opening of the vagina.

- Make sure the penis goes in the female condom, not between the condom and the side of the vagina.

- After sex, remove the female condom immediately by gently pulling it out. You can twist the large ring to prevent semen leaking out.

Don't:

- Reuse condoms

- Wear two condoms on top of each other since the increased friction makes it more likely for the condoms to break.

- Use oil-based lubricants. Water-based lubricants, however, are fine.

If you think that there's a chance that semen leaked out of the condom, either because the condom broke or it fell off, consider buying the morning after pill as soon as possible and seek medical advice from your doctor to check for any STIs.

Watch this video on condoms (in Maltese):

Do you still have questions about condoms? Search for answers in our Knowledge Base.