Pick the Right Condom to Protect Yourself

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Condoms have been used for thousands of years. They're the most effective form of non-prescription birth control available. And they're also a great protector from sexually transmitted diseases, but know what you're buying.

You can buy condoms made from different materials, polyurethane, latex, or lamb skin, also called natural skin. Lamb skin isn't as elastic, which means it can slip off during sex. All three types can prevent pregnancies. To prevent STDs, use only latex or polyurethane condoms.

Find the correct size condom. If your condom doesn't fit right, it could break or slip off. That lowers effectiveness. To find your size, you have to measure the width of your erect penis.

Use a toilet paper roll if you don't have a measuring tape handy. If there's extra room in the roll, you need a snug. Fit if it's comfortable. You need a regular size. If you can't fit, you need large. If you aren't sure, buy all three sizes and try them on.

Always check the condom's expiration date. Condoms can get old and lose their elasticity. To check freshness, you can also squeeze the condom inside the wrapper. You should feel a little air bubble inside. Don't use condoms with damage to the packaging.

Don't use oil based lubricants such as baby oil, olive oil, or whipped cream. They weaken condoms and can cause breaks. Instead, use water or silicon based lubes when you find the right condom for you.