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    Male Condoms - Topic Overview

    What are the advantages and disadvantages of male condoms?


    • They are the most effective protection available against STIs.
    • They do not affect future fertility for either a woman or a man.
    • They are used only at the time of sexual intercourse.
    • They are safe to use while a woman is breast-feeding.
    • They are less expensive than hormonal methods of birth control.
    • They are widely available without a prescription.
    • They may help prevent a man from having an orgasm too quickly (premature ejaculation).


    • Some people are embarrassed to use condoms or feel they may interrupt foreplay or intercourse.
    • Both partners must be comfortable with using a condom and be prepared to use one every time they have sex.
    • Condoms may decrease sexual sensation.
    • Some people are allergic to latex (rubber). These couples should use condoms made of polyurethane (plastic).
    • Condoms may break or leak.
    • Failure rates for barrier methods are higher than for most other methods of birth control. Using an additional method of birth control is a good backup measure in case a condom breaks. If a condom does break and you are using no other birth control method, you can use emergency contraception to help prevent pregnancy.

    WebMD Medical Reference from Healthwise

    Last Updated: August 08, 2014
    This information is not intended to replace the advice of a doctor. Healthwise disclaims any liability for the decisions you make based on this information.
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