Birth Control FAQs: Condoms

Consumers today have a plethora of options when it comes to birth control.  However, with so many options – from pills to shots, implants to patches – it can be difficult for the average consumer to navigate all of these options.  That’s why Nurx is developing a series called “Birth Control FAQs,” in which they try to empower consumers by answering the most frequently asked questions for each birth control type.  Whether you’re looking to learn more about how female condoms work or the most common side effects from taking “the pill,” Nurx has you covered…starting with condoms.

Are Condoms a Good Alternative to the Pill?

Image via Flickr by Writing On The Mall

If you’re not comfortable getting a birth control prescription from Nurx, then you might choose condoms instead. The most popular kind of condom is the male condom, which is usually a latex sheath that covers the penis during intercourse. This catches sperm and prevents it from entering the vagina.

Are Condoms Hard to Use?

To use a condom, the man needs his penis to be erect. Then, he should place the condom on the tip of his penis, pinching the top as he rolls it down the length of his penis. Just make sure there are no air bubbles before intercourse begins.

Where Can You Buy a Condom?

While Nurx makes it easy to get all your birth control delivered right to your door, condoms might be even easier to obtain. They’re widely available at nearly every drug store, supermarket, or convenience store. You don’t need a prescription to get them, which is convenient if you are looking for late-night spontaneity.

Currently, the average cost of a single condom is about $0.50 to $1, depending on how many you buy at one time. If you buy them in bulk, you can save some money. However, they won’t be covered by insurance, so you’ll need to pay for them out of pocket.

What Precautions Should You Take With Condoms?

Unlike other forms of birth control, such as combination pills like Yasmin, condoms don’t require any precautions. This means you don’t need to consult a doctor before using them.

Because most are made with latex, you should be careful if you have a latex allergy. If you have this problem, you might start noticing itchiness or a rash develop. Luckily, there is an alternative — just look for condoms made of polyurethane of polyisoprene instead. These materials don’t contain latex and should lower your chances of reacting to the condom.

Do Condoms Have Any Side Effects, Like Making Sex Less Pleasurable?

Again, condoms are unlikely to have any negative side effects. 

However, if you choose a spermicidal condom, you may develop irritation of the vagina or penis, including discomfort or dryness. Studies have also found that spermicidal condoms sometimes increase the risk of HIV transmission between partners. That’s why most doctors don’t recommend spermicidal condoms anymore.

Some users also report diminished sensation during sexual contact. However, this isn’t a deal breaker, and couples can still both finish without a problem.

Never use a condom that is expired or damaged; otherwise, your chances of getting pregnant will be increased. Additionally, never reuse a condom, as they are meant for one-time use only.

Finally, while condoms are great at preventing STDs, they are not 100-percent effective. The only way to completely prevent your risk of STDs is to not have sex at all.

If a Condom Breaks, What Are the Risks of Pregnancy?

Luckily, condoms pair well with all other types of birth control. Whether you want to use a pill like Mircette or a patch like Xulane, it never hurts to also throw on a condom before intercourse. Of course, Nurx can help you find the combination that’s right for your individual needs, regardless of where you live.

Statistics show that when used correctly, condoms are 98 percent effective at preventing pregnancy. That’s why it’s never a bad idea to pair condom use with another method of birth control from Nurx, such as a pill, patch, or ring.

What Are Some Commonly Asked Questions About Condoms?

Do condoms prevent STDs?

When used correctly, condoms are a great method of preventing STDs. That’s why many doctors recommended condoms in addition to other forms of birth control. However, condoms do not protect sores that aren’t covered by the condom, so in some cases, infections can still be spread. 

Do condoms work?

Yes, condoms are highly effective at preventing pregnancy. Overall, 15 out of 100 couples who use condoms as their sole method of birth control will have an accidental pregnancy. Because this rate isn’t 100 percent, we highly recommend getting a birth control prescription from Nurx as well.

Do condoms expire?

Condoms do expire, which is why it’s so important to always check the date before you use one. Expired or old condoms might be dried out or damaged, which can allow sperm to leak during use. Most latex condoms have a shelf life of five years. If they contain spermicide, the shelf life is decreased to about three years. Usually, you’ll be able to find the expiration date on the foil wrapper or on the box the condoms came in.

Do condoms prevent HPV?

Affecting over 20 million Americans, HPV is the most common STD in the country. That being said, condoms are a great way to prevent yourself from getting or transmitting this disease. While they aren’t 100-percent effective at preventing HPV, they can greatly lower your chances of getting the disease. Just be sure to use a condom for all sex acts, including oral and anal sex, to be safe.

How Does Nurx Work?

Ready to take your birth control into your own hands? Choose Nurx to get access to safe, affordable, and quality birth control options from the comfort of your home. 

Nurx is a free platform offering easy online access to doctors and seamless delivery of medications. No more time-consuming trips to the clinic and no more frantic pharmacy runs. We put you in control of your own health, empowering you to get the care you need, when you need it. Starting with birth control and PrEP for HIV prevention, Nurx is available in 21 states and counting. From diagnosis to delivery of prescriptions, we make every part of getting healthy and staying healthy, better. 

For more information and to signup, visit www.nurx.com and follow us @nurxapp on Twitter and Instagram.