Condoms provide protection against getting STIs and pregnancy. There are two types of condoms - the male condom and the female condom. Condoms are sold in drug stores and also in many grocery and convenience stores. All health centres in the Yukon have male condoms available. They are also available at Whitehorse General Hospital, Watson Lake Hospital, Yukon Communicable Disease Control (YCDC), and many retailers in Whitehorse. In most high schools the guidance counsellor can also provide you with free condoms. You just have to ask. Used the right way, and every time, condoms are 97% effective. Condoms only protect the area they cover. Some STIs like herpes or the HPV virus can still be spread by skin-to-skin contact with uncovered parts of the genital area. However, unless you practice abstinence, using a condom every time is still the best way to protect against STIs. Lubricants can make condoms feel more natural. Only water-based lubricants (these are labeled as "personal lubricants") like "Astroglide" or "K-Y" are safe to use with latex condoms. Oil-based lubricants like "Vaseline" are NOT recommended as they will damage a condom and may make it break. Condoms are best stored at room temperature in a dry place. Don't store them in your wallet or the car or truck glove compartment. If possible keep them at room temperature and carry them in a purse or jacket pocket.
A male condom is a thin covering that is worn on the penis during sex. Condoms prevent pregnancy by stopping sperm from entering the vagina. They protect against most STIs by blocking contact between the penis and the other person's body fluids. Condoms can also protect the wearer against getting an STI during oral or anal sex. Condoms are made from latex or polyurethane. Some people are allergic to latex or to the spermicide in some condoms. If you or your partner notice any burning, itching or swelling after using a latex condom you may be allergic. Try using a condom made of polyurethane or a condom with no spermicide. Roll the condom onto your penis as soon as your penis gets hard and before it touches the other person's body. Leave about 1cm (1/2 inch) of space at the tip of the condom. Put the condom over the end or your penis and squeeze the tip to make sure no air is trapped. Then roll the condom all the way down the penis as far as it will go. After intercourse, slowly pull your penis out of your partners body while holding the condom in place. While you are still hard, slowly pull your penis out of your partner's body. To take the condom off your penis move away from your partner, hold the base of your penis and slide the condom off. Be careful to keep the semen inside. Wrap the used condom in a tissue and put it in the garbage. Don't flush it down the toilet. After removing the condom, wash you penis with soap and water. If you can't wash, don't have sexual contact with your partner after taking the condom off. You will need to use a new condom each time you have sex. Condoms have "Best Before" date on the package. If the date has expired the condom is more likely to break. Throw it in the garbage and get a condom that hasn't expired.
External (Male) Condoms:
The female condom is a thin polyurethane pouch with a flexible ring at both the closed and open ends. The closed end needs to be gently pushed into the woman's vagina and the inside ring will hold it in place. The ring at the open end covers the vulva outside the body. The female condom stops sperm from entering the vagina. In Yukon, you cannot purchase female condoms; however, Blood Ties provides them free of charge. You might need to guide your partner's penis into the condom to make sure it doesn't slip around the side and into your vagina. You can put lubricant inside the condom to make it more comfortable for both of you. Female condoms are not reusable and remember that male and female condoms cannot be used at the same time. If you are using a female condom, you don't need a male condom. The link below provides information on how to use a female condom.
Internal (Female) Condoms:
It is important to discuss what birth control method(s) you will use with your partner. Remember, condoms - male and female - are the only methods of birth control that can also protect you from Sexually Transmitted Infections (STIs).
To learn more about birth control, visit the Birth Control section.
Abstinence is simply not having sex with another person. Abstinence is the only 100% effective way to prevent pregnancy. It also protects people against STIs that are spread through genital, oral/genital and anal sex. You don't have to be a virgin to practice abstinence. Some people who have had sex already decide not to continue to have sex. Abstinence does not prevent getting people from getting HIV/AIDS or Hepatitis B infections from non sex activities like using contaminated needles for doing drugs or tattooing.
If you don’t want to have sex, see Tips and Tools for sex talk tips.