Condoms can help protect against Pregnancy and Sexually Transmitted Infections

Condoms are very thin but are very strong



The Facts

(Useful contacts are at the bottom of this page)

What are condoms?

There are two types of condoms: male and female. Male condoms are made from very thin latex (rubber), polyisoprene or polyurethane. When used correctly during vaginal sex, they help to protect against pregnancy and sexually transmitted infections (STIs). When used correctly during anal and oral sex, they help to protect against STIs. Female condoms (femidoms) are similar to male condoms but instead of being put on the penis they are inserted into the vagina or anus first. Female condoms are not available through the C-Card scheme.

Condoms are the only contraception that help protect against pregnancy and STIs.

How do they work?
The male condom is worn on the penis to stop sperm from entering the man's partner's vagina, mouth or anus. The condom has to be put on when the penis is erect, and before the penis comes into contact with the vagina, mouth or anus.

Store male condoms in places that aren't too hot or cold, and away from sharp or rough surfaces that could tear them or wear them away.

How effective are condoms?
If used correctly and consistently, male condoms are 98% effective. This means that two out of 100 women using male condoms as contraception will become pregnant in one year.

Always use condoms that have the CE mark on the packet. This means that they've been tested to the high European safety standards. Condoms that don't have the CE mark won't meet these standards, so don't use them. All C-Card condoms have the CE mark.

What else should I know?
Many people find putting on a condom an enjoyable part of sex, and it doesn't feel like an interruption.

If they're not used properly, male condoms can slip off or split. If this happens, practise putting them on so that you get used to using them properly. Or try using different kinds. There are lots of different sizes, shapes, colours, textures and flavours to choose from, so you'll be able to find one that suits you best.

What if I, or my partner is allergic to latex?
If you're sensitive to latex, use polyurethane or polyisoprene condoms instead.

What if the condom splits?
Although condoms (when used correctly) offer reliable protection against pregnancy, you might want to use another method of contraception as well. This is to protect you against an unintended pregnancy if the condom fails.

If the condom splits or comes off, you can use emergency contraception to help to prevent pregnancy. This is for emergencies only, and shouldn't be used as a regular form of contraception. It’s available free from GPs, most pharmacies, Contraceptive and Sexual Health Clinics, and hospital Accident and Emergency areas. It is important for the female to get it and take it as soon as possible after having sex for it to be most effective.

Useful Sexual Health Services in Norfolk

iCaSH Norfolk
Free and confidential clinics that will test for all sexually transmitted infections and provide all methods of contraception.

Tel: 0300 300 30 30

Tel: 0300 300 30 30

Walk In Centres:
Free and confidential health services at which you do not need to be registered - just walk in!

Rouen Road Walk-In Centre
Rouen House, Rouen Road, Norwich, Norfolk, NR1 1RB
01603 677500
Opening times (Check website for up-to-date times):
     Everyday 8 a.m. - 8 p.m.
Greyfriars Health Centre and Walk in Centre, Phoenix House, Howard Street South, Great Yarmouth, Norfolk, NR30 2PT
01493 335340
Opening times (Check website for up-to-date times):
     Everyday 08:00 to 20:00


Nb.All times are subject to change. Please contact the venue to be sure of correct opening times.