I had vaginal intercourse with a flavored condom; will it protect me as well as regular condoms?
Flavored condoms are intended to be used only for oral sex on a penis. Some people like the taste an think it makes oral sex more pleasurable. However, flavored condoms should not be used for vaginal (or anal) sex. This is because there are sugars in the flavoring, and when they get inside the vagina or anus they can cause infections like a yeast infection.
How good are condoms at preventing STIs?
Depending on whether they are used correctly, external condoms (for the penis) are between 85 and 98% effective. Laboratory studies have shown that latex condoms provide an effective barrier against even the smallest STD pathogens.
Internal condoms, which can be placed in either the vagina or the anus, are 78-98% effective depending on whether they are used correctly.
Remember that dental dams can also be used to prevent STIs during oral sex performed on either the vagina or the anus.
Why do people say you should use two types of birth control?
When people refer to using two types of birth control, they are not talking about using two different hormonal methods like having an IUD and also being on the pill. This is not necessary and would not be healthy for the body.
However, using an effective form of birth control (like an IUD, the arm implant, the pill, NuvaRing, Depo shot, etc.) while also using a condom is something known as dual protection. This is what sexual health educators recommend in order to protect oneself against both pregnancy and STIs. Condoms are the only form of birth control that also prevent STIs.
What's a good place to get larger-sized condoms discreetly and for free?
Teen Clinic has free condoms available to anyone 19 or under! We have different sizes and varieties of condoms.
If you want to come to Teen Clinic and pick up condoms, all you have to do is sign in at the front desk- write on the slip that you would like to pick up condoms. You'll be taken to a private room and a provider will give you the condoms in a bag to keep the visit private and confidential.
I had sex last night and the condom broke. I'm scared I might be pregnant. What do I do?
The first thing you can do is get Plan B or another form of Emergency Contraception. The sooner you take it, the better it works! Plan B can be purchased at most grocery stores and pharmacies. You can also come into Teen Clinic without an appointment and we can give it to you at a discount.
The only way to know for sure if you are pregnant is to take a pregnancy test at least 14 days after the most recent sexual contact.
In the future, using silicone or water-based lubricant (not oil-based!) is one way to minimize the risk of the condom breaking. Check out our other tips for proper condom use here.
I have been on the Nexplanon for over a year and I just had sex with my boyfriend without a condom, am I completely safe from pregnancy?
It is important to know that the only completely (i.e. 100%) effective method to prevent pregnancy is abstinence. However, being on the Nexplanon makes you 99% protected from pregnancy for up to 3 years, even if ejaculation in the vagina occurs.
Remember, hormonal methods of birth control (like the Nexplanon) do not protect against STIs. Only condoms and dental dams can protect against STIs. You can get condoms and dental dams for free at Teen Clinic!
How do I prevent getting an STI from my partner if I'm giving them a blow job?
Use a condom during oral sex on a penis! The majority of STIs are transmitted through either skin-to-skin contact or exposure to sexual fluids, and condoms protect against both of those things.
I'm allergic to latex. Can my boyfriend still use a condom inside me?
Yes! There are plenty of non-latex condoms available. You can find them right by the latex condoms in grocery stores and pharmacies.