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What are condoms?

Condoms are a thin rubber layer that you place over an erect penis.

They stop you getting pregnant by acting as a barrier to get in the way of sperm.


Condoms are one of the most popular forms of birth control as they are non-hormonal and do not require a prescription. They are also the only form of contraception that protects you from STIs!


Condoms have a  slightly higher failure rate than other forms of contraception as they are user-dependent.

With typical use the risk of pregnancy is 15 per 100 women, but can be as good

as 2 per 100 women if used perfectly!


does this mean?

Doctors discuss the

effectiveness of contraception

by "perfect" and "typical" use.

This is because some methods are affected by human error: 

Perfect use:

The method is used perfectly

(no human error)

   Typical use:

Accounts for human

error (e.g. putting the condom

on too late)


How good? 

A classic method of birth control that doesn't need a prescription

98% effective at preventing pregnancy with perfect use, down to 85% with typical use 

How easy? 

Remember to use one every time you have sex

Place it on an erect penis prior to penetrative sex

Side effects? 

None. Some users report reduced sexual sensations. 

How hard to get? 

No prescription required - head on down to your supermarket! Otherwise, your GP or Family Plannning will happiily provide you some on a prescription. 

How much?

Vary in cost:

Prescription (cheapest - $5), supermarket (dependent on brands, types, flavours, and amount)


How do they work?

The condom is a barrier contraceptive. It works by catching the sperm on ejaculation, therefore stopping it from getting into the vagina and up to fertilise the egg. 

Image by Deon Black

how long does it last?

  • One time​ per condom

why would it suit me? 

Condoms can be particularly helpful if:

  • You want to protect yourself against STIs 

  • You don't want to use hormones

  • You don't want a long term contraceptive in your own body 

  • You don't want to take something every day 

  • You remember to use them each time you have sex


  • Easy to access e.g. supermarkets, clubs/pubs, clinics and pharmacies, and cheaper if given a prescription from your GP or Family Planning

  • Protects against STIs

  • Works well if used perfectly 

  • Easy to use and portable!

  • Come in lots of different styles/flavours/thicknesses etc

  • Suitable after having a baby (post-partum) and while breastfeeding


  • Higher pregnancy rates than with other birth control methods

  • Have to remember to use every time

  • Must be put on when penis is erect but prior to sex 

  • Can slip off or break

  • Some people are allergic to rubber/latex

  • Some partners report reduced sexual sensation

what next?

There is no need to book an appointment with your GP or Family Planning. You can access these anywhere!

If you are wanting a reduced price then get them on prescription from your GP or Family Planning.

In the future, Luna Health hope to provide a birth control service that assesses eligibility for each birth control method.

This will save you time and money meaning you only need to physically see a doctor once

Share your experience

help others decide what is best for them 

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your experience


Katherine, 29

I'm a carrier of the BRCA1 gene so it's advised I don't use contraception other then condoms as it carries added risks for me. Unfortunately that's the only option I'm really left with but am lucky to get regular periods any way

Avatar 104

Hannah, 27

Have used pills in the past, which haven't agreed with me. We use condoms - they kill the moment, but do the job.

Avatar 109

Loren, 29

I track my period and use condoms when I am ovulating and none the rest of the month. This has provided me with 6 years of effective contraception.

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