Using condoms

Condoms when used with water-based lubricant can reduce the risk of getting or passing on a sexually transmitted infection (STI) as they stop the exchange of sexual fluids. Unfortunately condoms may not protect you from getting herpes, genital warts or crabs.

Use a new condom with lube every time you have sex.

Condoms do come in different sizes and shapes.

Condoms prevent pregnancy as well as STIs.

How to get your partner to use a condom

Many people already know that condoms help protect against most STIs and pregnancy. Many people carry condoms and want to use them, but often condoms don't get used.

There are many reasons why people don't use condoms. Talking about condoms sometimes makes people shy, embarrassed, unromantic and awkward. 

If people don't discuss and agree to use condoms before they have sex, there is a pretty good change the condom won't get used.

Talking to your partner means that you are serious about taking care of your sexual health. 

Don’t be shy, your partner is probably also thinking about using a condom too but doesn't know how to talk about it. 

Be up front and confident and talk about using condoms. It's best to talk about condoms before you start having sex. 

People use a lot of reasons for not using condoms. The table below shows how you can respond when a partner doesn't want to use a condom.

StatementResponse
I can't feel anything with a condom.I want to use a condom and they are good because you will last longer.
Why don't you trust me? You think I have something?No, it's just that people have infections without realising it.
I don't think you really love me.I do, but I am not risking my future to prove it.
I'll pull out before I cum, it's safe.No, women can still get pregnant and infections from cum (pre-ejaculation fluid).
I'm on the pill, we don't need a condom.No worries, I do.
Come on, just this once, I'll be careful.No, I only have sex with a condom, it is the safest way for both of us.

Emergency contraception

Emergency contraception does not prevent STIs.

The Emergency Contraception Pill (ECP) is sometimes called the morning after pill and can be used to prevent pregnancy.

If you have unprotected sex or the condom breaks it is advised you get the ECP either from the chemist, family planning or Clinic 34. You don't need a prescription.

It's best to take the pill within 24 hours of having sex, as this is when it's most effective.

It can be taken up to five days later, but the longer you leave it, the less effective it will be.

You should also have a sexual health check. 

For more information contact the Centre for Disease Control's Clinic 34.

Last updated: 27 June 2017