Condom and Femidom User Guide

Condoms are the only contraceptive methods that help to prevent unintended pregnancy but also reduce the risk of transmission of most sexually transmitted infections (STIs) during sex – including chlamydia, gonorrhoea, syphilis and HIV. There are several different types of condoms in a variety of sizes, flavours and colours which can be used for different sexual activities including:

  • Vaginal Sexual Intercourse 
  • Oral Sex - Flavoured Condoms, Dental Dams and any other condom.
  • Anal Sex

Where can I get condoms from?

  • Youth Services 
  • Most GP practices 
  • Some Pharmacies

You can also buy condoms from:

  • Shops 
  • Pharmacies 
  • Supermarkets 
  • Petrol stations/ garages 
  • Vending machines in some public toilets
  • Internet

Always check that the condom has a kite / CE mark on it, that it is in date and the packaging is intact. All condoms which have the BSI kite mark or European CE mark to ensure that they have all been tested up to British Standards.

For further information please follow see FPA - Male and female condom Guide



Male Condom:

  1. Use a new condom each time.
  2. Check ‘use by date’ and check CE / kite mark.
  3. Take condom out of packet carefully.
  4. Squeeze the air out of the teat.
  5. Ensure penis is fully erect.
  6. Role the condom all the way to the base of the penis.
  7. Ensure the penis is removed before the erection is lost.
  8. Take off the condom and wrap in tissue and throw in the bin.

Male condom - If used according to instructions it is 98 per cent effective. This means that two women in 100 will get pregnant in a year.

Female Condoms (Femidoms):

  1. Check use by date and kite mark.
  2. Insert either lying down or with one leg raised on a chair.
  3. Squeeze the inner ring between your thumb and middle finger and insert the condom into the vagina push it up as far as it will go.
  4. It will now be lying just above the pubic bone.
  5. Ensure the outer ring lies close against the vulva.
  6. To remove twist the outer ring and gently pull the condom out.

Female condom - If used according to instructions it is 95 per cent effective. This means that five women in 100 will get pregnant in a year. (fpa 2008).

Why don't condoms work sometimes?

The biggest reason condoms sometimes fail is through incorrect use so it's worth taking a bit of time to make sure you follow a few simple rules so you can play safely.


  • Put the condom on before genitals come into contact with each other.
  • Consider using lubricant, especially for anal sex to prevent condoms tearing.
  • Only use water based lubricant.
  • Wear a condom that's right for you, too big and it might slip off!
  • Make sure condom is in date and has a kitemark / CE mark.
  • Take care when opening condom to avoid damage from jewellry or teeth!
  • Recycling is great, but not for condoms! use a new one every time.


  • Put the femidom in before genital contact
  • Don't push the femidom all the way in.  The open end stays outside the vagina
  • Always check date and kitemark / CE Mark
  • Only use water based lubricants.

Where should I put the used condom?

  • Slide the condom off the penis (away from the vagina)
  • Tie a knot in the end of the condom to prevent spillage
  • Wrap in a tissue
  • Throw in the bin (not down the toilet)