What Teens Need To Know About Condoms And Sexual Health

By Layana Reghunath

Teen parents seldom think of their kids engaging in sexual activities. But statistics say something else. According to the data, more than 40% of teens are sexually active by the trime they reach high school. Shedding all the inhibitions, it is high time you open up in front of your kiddies. Discuss condoms and sexual health with them so they don’t become victims of unplanned pregnancies and sexually transmitted diseases(STI). It is the right time to discuss safe sex and birth control with them. Even if your child is gender neutral, sexual desires will be equally active in them. The chances of becoming pregnant are still high. In this article, we will discuss condoms and how it helps in birth control. 

What are condoms?

Condoms are thin polythene pouches that prevent sperm from entering the vagina. Condoms are of two types- male condoms and female condoms. 

  • Male condoms are made of a rubber-type material called latex and are worn on the penis of males. People who are allergic to latex can use condoms made of other materials like polyisoprene and polyurethane. 
  • Female condoms are safe materials; even people with latex allergies can use them blindfolded. It has flexible rings on both sides and is inserted inside the vagina. One of its sides is closed and goes inside the vagina, while the other part is open and sits at the entrance of it. 

How do condoms function?

Condoms prevent the semen(fluid-filled with sperm) from entering the vagina. Upon erection, a male condom is placed on the penis and unrolled to the base, leaving space at the end. Semen will get some space after ejaculation and prevent condoms from breaking. 

Once the male ejaculates, he should hold the tip of the condom placed at the penis base and carefully pull it out of the vagina. He should do it when his penis is still erect. If he removes the condom after his penis becomes soft, then there are chances of sperm entering the vagina. 

A female condom is inserted into the vagina with its closed ring end inside it. The other ring is placed at the opening of the vagina. It blocks the sperm from reaching the cervix by lining the vagina. You can use female condoms eight hours before intercourse. But you should remove it immediately after having sex and before getting up. 

It would be best not to use male and female condoms together. The friction formed between may cause its breakage. During intercourse, it gets stuck to one another and can make the other slip. Breaking or slipping condoms during intercourse means your chances of getting pregnant are high, and you are also exposed to STDs. 

How do condoms prevent pregnancy?

Your chance of getting pregnant using a male condom is 15%, whereas that of a female condom is 21%. It is advisable to use another method of birth control like IUD or birth control pills along with condoms. In order to ensure maximum safety, couples must use condoms every time they have sex.

You cannot use the same condom more than once, and each time a couple engages in sex must use a new condom from the beginning to the end to avoid unplanned pregnancies and STDs. And you must also be careful not to use oil-based lubricants such as petroleum jelly, mineral oil, baby oil, etc. while using condoms as it can cause the breakage of condoms. Things like body piercings and fingernails can also damage condoms. 

If you find your condom sticky, dry, or stiff after removing it from the packet or if its expiry date is over, throw it away. It is better to stock condoms for emergencies and to store them in a clean, dry place. 

Can condoms protect you from STDs?

Condoms made of latex, polyisoprene, and polyurethane can protect you from STDs if appropriately used. However, condoms made of lambskin are not recommended as they fail to protect you from STDs like HIV and Aids. Condoms also protect you from skin infections if worn correctly. Even if you are using other methods of birth control, using a condom is compulsory to ensure double protection. The best way to protect yourself from STDs and unplanned pregnancies are Abstinence, i.e., restraining from sex. 

Do condoms have any problems?

The majority of people don’t have any problems while using condoms. But a few side-effects have been reported here and there. Cases of allergy have been seen in individuals allergic to latex condoms. Few people have also reported irritation in the penis or vagina after its use. It’s mainly because of the spermicides or lubricants with which condoms are made. 

Who can use condoms?

Everyone engaging in sexual activities must use condoms to ensure maximum protection. A couple wishing to avoid pregnancy must wear them each time before having sex. Since condoms are the only birth control method for males, it is their responsibility to take the necessary measures to avoid unpleasant things.

Where can you buy condoms?

Condoms are widely available in pharmacies, supermarkets, and in vending machines. To ensure the health of their citizens, governments are also promoting condoms on a large scale. They are conducting different awareness programs all over the country to remove people’s shyness and make them start using it. Moreover, you need not have to visit a doctor or require a prescription to buy a condom, and it is readily available in the nearby medical store and is inexpensive.

How to talk to your teens?

Having a healthy conversation with your teenagers regarding sexual health is very important. At this age, it is natural for them to develop curiosity about sex. Giving them the correct information at the right time will help them grow into a rightful citizen. Here are some tips for breaking the ice between you and your kids.

  • Start early and frequently: talking to your kids about matters like sex can be challenging. But it is better to speak to them about it as early as possible. A one-time discussion will not be enough to convey your message, and you must talk to them as often as possible. These conversations will help both of you to shed your inhibitions and start talking more openly. Introducing sexual health to your kids before they become teenage is better. Talk age-appropriately and change your style as they grow. 
  • Stop being judgemental and giving lectures: there is no doubt that your judgemental and punishing attitude will turn them into a rebel and develop risk-taking behaviour. Your long speeches can be pretty dull, and they will refrain from opening up to you. Keep your mind and brain open, and be ready to welcome all their changes. 
  • Focus on well-being: teenage is that part of our life were we ready for all challenges. It is also when we give more attention to our body and self-care. It is the right time for you to discuss their personal care and hygiene. Instead of telling them to do things, it would be better to show them yourself. Practice self-care and hygiene and be a role model for them. You need to promote healthy relationships and choices in them.

Promoting Abstinence

There is no fixed time for you to discuss Abstinence with your child. The better you start, the better it will be for them. Chances of pregnancy and STDs are more with early sex. Talk to your child about their future plans and aspirations and how sex and unplanned pregnancies affect them. Tell them about the deadly combination of teenage and sex and how it can affect their future life. Make them aware that there are other ways to show your romantic feeling rather than indulging in sex. The best way to prevent pregnancy and STIs like human papillomavirus(HPV), gonorrhea, herpes, chlamydia, and HIV is to avoid all types of sexual activities, including oral, vaginal, and anal sex. 

While promoting Abstinence, you should also pass on valuable sexual health and protection information. Otherwise, kids may turn to social media or partially-knowledgeable friends to gather information about sex, which may have adverse effects on them. 


We agree that discussing your children on sex-related matters isn’t easy. But for their mental health and prosperity, it is better to take your first step today itself. Let’s at least make our future generations safe and secure with the proper education.

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