Condoms are devices used for contraception, i.e. to prevent pregnancies. Though the basic purpose of condoms is birth control, they are also used in a major way to get protection from sexually transmitted diseases such as syphilis, gonorrhea and AIDS. The male condom is a cylindrical bag-like structure that fits snugly over the penis. It has a pouch on the anterior end, where the seminal discharge collects after ejaculation. It has a hardened rim at the base where it remains fit on the penis shaft. The condom generally has lubrication on it so that it could maintain greater contact with the penis, and also provide better friction with the female vagina. Condoms can be enhanced by using patterns and flavors on them. The most popular patterns are dotted, ribbed and contoured condoms, and the most popular flavors are banana, apple and chocolate.

The male condom is designed to Durex fit over the erect penis. It was previously made primarily of animal skin or of latex, but now polyurethane is also being increasingly used. Latex has immense elastic properties and hence condoms can be stretched to very great limits without being worried of them getting torn. But latex has an offensive odor for some, and that explains the current popularity of polyurethane as the choice for condom manufactures.

Much has been written and said about the correct manner of putting a condom on. This is extremely important to know, because an improperly put condom could become ineffective in preventing pregnancies and also in preventing STDs. In order to put a condom, the penis has to be made erect first by sexual stimulation. Then the pouch of the condom must be placed over the glans. The condom must then be slowly unfurled over the length of the penis, till as far as it can go. Ideally, it must be pulled till the scrotal sac. Once the condom is worn, it must not be moved much, but used directly for penetrative sexual intercourse.

When the man ejaculates, the pouch gets filled with the seminal discharge. Hence, care must be taken while removing the condom also. Otherwise, the semen may fall on the vagina, which could lead to a pregnancy. After the ejaculation, the penis must be removed from the vagina. The condom must be slowly extracted from over the penis, holding it away from the vagina, and squeezing at the top of the pouch so that there is no chance of the semen falling anywhere and soiling the sheets or the floor. A used condom must be disposed in the waste paper basket. A condom once used must never be reused, even after washing it.

If used correctly, condoms are the best way to prevent pregnancies and sexually transmitted diseases. There are cases in which people cite failure of condoms, but the fact is that the condom itself does not fail; the failure is due to the way it is used. Sometimes people do not take the condom all the way to the base of the penis shaft, due to which there is a risk of the condom coming off in the vagina and spilling its contents into it.

Condom sabotage is also a major issue. This happens when one partner wants a baby while the other doesn’t. The one who wants a baby might make a little tear in the condom without the knowledge of the other partner. This would definitely lead to a pregnancy and the victim of condom sabotage could believe that the pregnancy occurred due to failure of the condom.