Choosing Condoms

Are you embarrassed to buy condoms? Do you know which ones are best for you? OB-GYN Dr. Lisa Masterson gives one woman a lesson in shopping for prophylactics .

Condoms are single-use sheaths that are rolled over a man’s penis to prevent semen from entering the vagina. They can be made of either latex, polyurethane or lambskin, and are disposed of after each use.

Latex condoms provide the best protection. Condoms made from polyurethane material are the best alternative for those with latex allergies, but protection is not as good as the latex varieties. Natural and/or lamb skin condoms do not provide any protection from disease. Condoms also come in many different varieties, such as vibrating, ribbed, flavored and lubricated.

Condom Storage
Carrying around condoms isn’t just for men anymore, as many women make sure to have them handy, as well. While they may seem like easy storage places, keeping condoms in a wallet or pocket can actually ruin the contraceptive. Rather, store them in a cool, dry place away from sunlight and heat.

“More women should be responsible for their birth control, including condoms,” Dr. Lisa says. “It’s always been a stigma that the man should have the condom, and really it should be on the woman, too. I think more and more women should feel comfortable with that.”

Dr. Lisa shows a product called Just in Case, which is a discreet, stylish, personal prophylactic case. “Condoms are traditionally marketed for men, and they are really a women’s product,” says Rachael Sudul, co-founder of Just in Case. “They’re a great form of birth control and protection. We just need a very discreet, beautiful way to carry them, so that’s why we created this tool.”

Learn more about birth control options.