There are two main types of condoms: male condoms and female condoms.
Most male condoms are made of latex; some are made of polyurethane (a type of plastic), polyisoprene (a man made equivalent of natural rubber), or lambskin. Lambskin condoms can prevent pregnancy; however, they do NOT prevent the spread of HIV or other viral STIs like herpes, hepatitis B, and hepatitis C. Only latex, plastic, and polyisoprene condoms prevent the spread of HIV and viral STIs.
Male condoms come in a variety of shapes, sizes, colors, textures, and even tastes. They are generally inexpensive (about $1.00 each in the US) and can be found at pharmacies, grocery stores, sex stores, and many online locations. Sometimes they are available for free at certain health clinics and AIDS service organizations.
They are also quite small and easy to carry so that you can always be prepared to protect yourself. It is important to keep condoms away from heat and check the expiration date. Condoms that have been exposed to heat and are too old are more likely to break. That’s why it is important not to store condoms in your car. Condoms can also tear fairly easily, so it’s best not to store them in your wallet.
Female condoms are made of polyurethane or nitrile (synthetic rubber) and can be put inside the vagina before you have sex. The female condom looks like a pouch, with a flexible ring at each end They usually cost a bit more than male condoms and are available at pharmacies, grocery stores, and sex stores. They are also available for free at certain health clinics and AIDS service organizations.
Female condoms can be an excellent choice for several reasons: you can insert them up to several hours before having sex, you are in control of putting it in and taking it out, and you can use one if your partner does not use a male condom.