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HealthInfo Canterbury


Condoms are good at stopping pregnancy and preventing the spread of sexually transmitted infections (STIs).

You need to use a condom correctly every time you have sex for them to work.

Male condoms aren't effective if they break, come off, or get damaged. If any of these things happen when using a condom, you should consider using emergency contraception. There's also a small chance of getting pregnant even if condoms are used correctly.

If you use lubrication (liquid to make things slippery), the condom is less likely to break.

You can buy male condoms in many shops or online.

You can also get them from your GP, Family Planning, the Sexual Health Centre, or school clinic. They'll either be free, or at least cheaper than buying them.

Female condoms are also available that cover inside the vagina and around the vaginal entrance.

You can buy female condoms from a few shops and online. You can also get them through Family Planning Clinics.

This video shows you how to use a female condom.

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Written by HealthInfo clinical advisers. Last reviewed February 2019.

Image courtesy of Vichaya Kiatying-Angsulee at

Page reference: 54616

Review key: HICAS-53138