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Condoms are one of the oldest forms of birth control. Despite the appearance of newer forms of birth control, condoms still offer advantages. They're inexpensive, available without a prescription and free of hormonal side effects. Just as importantly, they offer some protection against sexually-transmitted diseases including HIV, the virus that causes AIDs. Condoms have changed over the years. They're more comfortable and less likely to interfere with sexual pleasure. In fact, some add to the experience.
Most condoms are made of latex but there are a growing number of condoms made from non-latex materials. These are ideal for couples where one or both parties are allergic to latex. Most non-latex condoms are made of polyurethane or polyisoprene. Both latex and non-latex condoms are available in thin and ultra-thin versions. Despite being thinner in texture, these condoms still offer strength and reliability. What are the benefits of thinner condoms? They're more comfortable and less likely to interfere with sexual pleasure.
Some condoms have a textured surface to make sexual activity more intense and pleasurable. For example, some have deep ribs embedded in the condom while others have textured beads. Of course, smooth condoms without added texture are also popular. You can even choose ultra-smooth condoms. Discover what's right for you and your partner. Condoms are also available in large and extra-large sizes for added comfort.
Some condoms are lubricated on the inside and the outside for a "smoother" experience. The advantage of a pre-lubricated condom is you don't have to use a separate lubricant. Why is lubrication important? It reduces stress on the condom, making it less likely to break. If you don't use a pre-lubricated condom, use only water or silicone-based lubricants specifically made for condoms. Oil-based lubricants can damage the condom material and make it less effective. Also available are condoms lubricated with a spermicide called nonoxynol-9. This spermicide offers extra protection against pregnancy by killing sperm it comes in contact with.
Hormonal forms of birth control may have a variety of side effects. Condoms are completely free of hormones and are generally considered safe for most people. In fact, condoms may lower the risk of sexually-transmitted diseases when used correctly and consistently. This helps keep you and your partner safe. Condoms are also small and discrete, so they're easy to carry with you.
To get maximum protection from a condom, use a new one with each sexual experience. Never reuse condoms. All of the condoms available from Walgreens have been electronically tested to make sure they're undamaged. They also have an expiration date marked on the packaging. Always use the condom before the expiration date has passed. If you are unsure which types of condoms are best for your needs, consult your doctor.