Condoms

Free condoms are available at our centre.

The Sexual Health Centre offers FREE condoms to anyone over the age of 16. We also have free sachets of lubrication.

Our trained staff will provide a free condom demonstration so you can be certain that you are using condoms correctly.

Essentials

  • Male condoms help prevent sperm from being released into the vagina or back passage during anal sex.
  • They are considered to be 98% effective against pregnancy when properly used.
  • They help protect against most STIs.
  • Condoms can be purchased over the counter from chemists or supermarkets.
  • Never use two condoms together as this will cause friction and make the condoms tear/break. Using one condom correctly and safely every time is all that is required.
  • Don’t use flavoured condoms for penetrative intercourse, as some of their ingredients can cause issues in the vaginal area. They are to be used in ORAL SEX ONLY. Learn more about it in our F.A.Q. section.

Important to Know

  • Check the condom has not passed its sell-by date – Yes, condoms can go off! 
  • Make sure that the condom you are using has a safety mark e.g. CE on the foil packaging.
  • Keep your condoms away from heat, light and damp as these can damage them. Carry them in your wallet or bag.
  • You should only use one condom at a time and they can’t be re-used.

How to Use a Condom

  • Open the packet carefully in the middle and watch out for nails, jewellery etc. as they can tear a condom easily.
  • If you need lubricant (wet stuff) use something that is water-based (you can buy these at chemist). Do not use any oils e.g. baby oil, butter, etc as these rot the condom really quickly and will mean that it won’t protect you.
  • Wait for the penis to go hard. With one hand, squeeze the tip of the condom with your thumb and finger to get rid of all the air at the tip. Put the condom on the penis with the other hand and roll it all the way down. Be sure to put it on with the roll on the outside.
  • Withdraw the penis straightaway after you’ve come. Hold the condom firmly at the base to stop any leaks.
  • Knot the base of the condom, wrap it in a tissue and throw it in the bin. Do not throw it down the toilet, as condoms won’t flush!!!
  • If you’ve never used a condom before, practice by yourself first. Girls can practice on a cucumber or banana.

Withdrawal is NOT a form of protection. Some people think that if you have sexual intercourse and the man withdraws from the woman before he ejaculates (cums) or if you do it standing up you will not get pregnant.
This is NOT TRUE! Often fluid containing sperm (precum) comes out of the top of the penis before the ejaculation and this can cause pregnancy (and STIs).

Young adults aged 16/17 will be required to have a condom demonstration the first time they come into the centre. Once they have gone through the demonstration, they will be issued with a card with a number stamped on it, so that the staff at the centre are informed that the young person has had a demonstration and do not need to be shown again (unless requested by the individual themselves). Condoms will then be issued to the young person next time they come into avail of the service, they only have to show the receptionist their card.