You have decided to protect yourself by using a condom during sexual intercourse? Good for you! Now, how do you choose the model that suits you best?
Choosing a condom: a challenge?
Have you ever found yourself in the condom isle at the pharmacy with only a vague idea of what to purchase? There is generally a wide selection of condoms to choose from, and one usually doesn’t want to linger... So, in order to make a wise—and efficient—choice, it’s better to arrive well-informed!
First, it’s important to know that the ideal condom should be both safe and comfortable. It should be pointed out that the male condom has two very important qualities. First, it is a highly effective contraceptive method when it is used correctly and when it is used for each sexual encounter. Additionally, the condom is the only method that also protects against sexually transmitted infections.
Choosing the model that suits you best will help you to fully benefit from your experience while taking advantage of the condom’s protective qualities.
The factors to consider
Here is a list of factors to consider when the time comes to choose a male condom.
In order to be comfortable, the condom must be the right size and fit the shape of the penis. A condom that is too big can cause difficulties such as slipping, while one that is too small can cause discomfort. It is sometimes necessary to try several models of various sizes to find the one that is best for you.
The material used
Today, condoms can be made of latex, a natural material, or polyurethane or polyisoprene, synthetic materials. All three of these materials provide protection against unwanted pregnancies and STIs. Some individuals have an allergy or intolerance to latex. In these cases, condoms made of synthetic materials are a better option.
Water-based lubricants should be used with a latex condom, while oil-based ones or petroleum jelly (e.g., Vaseline®) should be avoided. Synthetic membrane condoms can be used with any type of lubricant.
Wearing a condom can influence the degree of sensitivity during coitus. Decreased sensitivity can be an advantage for some men, who don’t want to ejaculate too quickly. Conversely, this can be an inconvenience for some. The difference lies in the thickness of the membrane (regular, thin, ultra thin, etc.).
Additionally, some condoms have attributes that enhance sensations (smooth, ribbed, textured, warming and tingling sensation condoms, etc.).
Lubricated condoms are generally liked by users. There are various degrees of lubrication to choose from. Additionally, some condoms are lubricated with a spermicide, an agent that destroys sperm to further reduce the risk of pregnancy. However, it is believed that spermicides may irritate the vaginal or rectal lining, which can increase the risk of infections.
The choice of a condom can also depend on the use one makes of it. Ideally, a condom should be used for vaginal, oral or anal sex.
For vaginal intercourse, a lubricated condom can be used to enhance the experience. There are also a number of lubricants available at the pharmacy to enhance coitus.
A non-lubricated condom may be preferred for fellatio. The lubricant may taste bad or be unpleasant. Some flavoured condoms may offset this unpleasantness.
A more resistant and very well lubricated condom is a good option for anal sex. Most individuals also use an additional lubricant in this situation.
Condom manufacturers put their creativity at the service of customers. To the delight of consumers, certain characteristics or various features (including certain colours or flavours, for instance) can enhance the experience.
On the other hand, other individuals prefer a simple formula without the frills. One thing is certain, there’s something for every taste!
The pharmacist: an ally
Some people find it embarrassing to ask for information when they purchase condoms. Yet, with the wide range of available brands and models, it is completely normal to be confused. Your pharmacist is knowledgeable about sexual health and is used to discussing subjects of a sensitive nature with customers.
Your pharmacist can meet with you privately and confidentially if you have any questions. There are consultation areas or offices specifically designed for this purpose at the pharmacy. Find out more from a pharmacy area team member.
Speak to your pharmacist for additional information about condoms and other contraceptive methods.