Condom

A condom is a sheath-shaped barrier device used during sexual intercourse to reduce the probability of pregnancy or a sexually transmitted infection (STI).[1] There are both male and female condoms.[5] With proper use—and use at every act of intercourse—women whose partners use male condoms experience a 2% per-year pregnancy rate.[1] With typical use the rate of pregnancy is 18% per-year.[6] Their use greatly decreases the risk of gonorrhea, chlamydia, trichomoniasis, hepatitis B, and HIV/AIDS.[1] To a lesser extent, they also protect against genital herpes, human papillomavirus (HPV), and syphilis.[1]

Condom
A rolled-up condom
Background
Pronunciation/ˈkɒndəm/ or UK: /ˈkɒndɒm/
TypeBarrier
First useAncient[1]
Rubber: 1855[2]
Latex: 1920s[3]
Polyurethane: 1994
Polyisoprene: 2008
Pregnancy rates (first year, latex)
Perfect use2%[4]
Typical use18%[4]
Usage
ReversibilityYes
User remindersLatex condoms are damaged by oil-based lubricants[1]
Advantages and disadvantages
STI protectionYes[1]
BenefitsNo health care visits required and low cost[1]

The male condom is rolled onto an erect penis before intercourse and works by forming a physical barrier which blocks semen from entering the body of a sexual partner.[1][7] Male condoms are typically made from latex and, less commonly, from polyurethane, polyisoprene, or lamb intestine.[1] Male condoms have the advantages of ease of use, easy to access, and few side effects.[1] Men with a latex allergy should use condoms made from a material other than latex, such as polyurethane.[1] Female condoms are typically made from polyurethane and may be used multiple times.[7]

Condoms as a method of preventing STIs have been used since at least 1564.[1] Rubber condoms became available in 1855, followed by latex condoms in the 1920s.[2][3] It is on the World Health Organization's List of Essential Medicines.[8] In the United States condoms usually cost less than US$1.00.[9] As of 2019, globally around 21% of those using birth control use the condom, making it the second-most common method after female sterilization (24%).[10] Rates of condom use are highest in East and Southeast Asia, Europe and North America.[10] About six to nine billion are sold a year.[11]