A condom is a sheath that fits snugly over the penis. The reservoir at the tip of the condom collects the semen that is ejaculated, thus preventing it from entering the vagina. Condoms are the easiest, safest, and most commonly used form of birth control. Latex condoms that are spermicidally lubricated are the most effective. Spermicidal lubricant, such as Nonoxynol-9, kills any sperm that might leak out of a condom. Some people have latex allergies; for those individuals, condoms are available in other compositions; however, they are not as effective in preventing pregnancy or the transmission of STDs as latex condoms.
Condoms are widely available, at drug and convenience stores and even supermarkets. Both sexes can purchase them; this helps both partners share responsibility for birth control. Condoms are a good way to ensure that one is always prepared (in terms of birth control) for a sexual encounter.
It is a myth that condoms lessen sexual pleasure. If one or both partners are uncomfortable using condoms, each should be tested for STDs, including HIV, and then discuss other birthcontrol options with a counselor or physician.
The female condom, which is similar to traditional condoms, is also available. It is placed inside a woman and it lines her vagina and blocks her cervix.