Condoms And Contraception

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Different Types of Condoms

Both male and female condoms are available.

Types of male condoms include -

► Latex Condoms - These condoms are made up of latex rubber. This type of condom is now available at very low rates in most countries. This can be used only with a water-based lubricant and not with oil-based lubricants such as vaseline or cold cream. Some people might be allergic or sensitive to latex condoms. Such individuals can resort to polyurethane condoms.

► Polyurethane Condoms - Polyurethane is a type of plastic. It is much thinner than latex rubber, making it more sensitive. Hence it offers a superior advantage in terms of the feel and appearance to most of the users. It can be used with both water and oil-based lubricants, and is generally expensive when compared to the latex condoms.

► Sheepskin Condoms - These condoms are made of lamb intestines and can be used with both water and oil based lubricants. Such condoms prevent pregnancy but are not very effective in preventing infections. People report a more ‘natural feel’ on using this condom. Such condoms are very expensive and have a limited usability.

Female Condoms -

The female condom was first approved for use by the FDA in 1993. It is a pouch or sheath, made of polyurethane that is worn by a woman during vaginal intercourse. It helps prevent pregnancy and infections as it lines the entire vagina, restricting the passage of semen into the female genital tract. It is commercially available with a silicone-based lubricant. Although it is slightly difficult to use a female condom initially, it is a very good alternative if the other partner refuses to use a condom. It creates a shared sense of responsibility among the partners. It can be inserted 8 hours before having sex and is less likely to precipitate an immune reaction. Male and female condoms should never be used together as there are increased chances for rupture due to friction. Female condoms are comparatively more expensive than male condoms and are more stable to heat and dampness.

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