Our services HIV and Sexual Health Promotion HIV and Sexual Health in Greater Manchester Free condoms across Greater Manchester Condoms Condoms are the most effective way to safeguard your sexual health as they provide a thin barrier that stops sperm, bacteria and viruses getting from one person and into another. Used correctly they have a very good success rate in protecting against unwanted pregnancy and the spread of sexually transmitted infections (STI's), including HIV. We distribute free condoms and lube during community events and group sessions across Greater Manchester. You can also drop in to our Manchester office to pick up condoms. Alternatively, low-cost condoms are available to purchase from through the PaSH partnership. Click here for more information. How do Condoms Work? A condom covers the penis or sex toy and acts as a barrier between it and the mouth, vagina, penis or anus. Condoms protect against pregnancy by preventing the sperm contained in semen coming into contact with the vagina. As condoms stop sexual fluids being transferred between partners they are also the only method of contraception that protects against most STI's. It's important that the man's penis does not make contact with the vagina before a condom has been put on. This is because semen can come out of the penis before a man has fully ejaculated. If this happens, or if semen leaks into the vagina while using a condom, seek advice about emergency contraception from your GP or contraceptive clinic. You should also consider having an STI test. When used correctly each time you have sex, condoms are the best protection against STI's and HIV when having vaginal, anal and oral sex. Water-based and Silicone-based lube can make condoms even more effective as it helps to prevent fiction which can lead to tears. When used properly and consistently condoms are 98% effective in preventing an unwanted pregnancy. Whilst other contraceptives, such as the contraceptive pill, offer protection against unwanted pregnancy, they offer no protection against STI's, unlike the condom. How do I get Condoms? You can get free condoms from our BHA office, local community venues or collect them from our workers at events and group sessions. Please get in touch for further details. Other places where you can access condoms include: Contraception and Sexual Health Clinics Some GPs Some Genitourinary Medicine (GUM) Clinics Free condoms are widely and easily available, but if you do need to buy some you'll find them in supermarkets, pharmacies, petrol stations, convenience stores and from vending machines in most pubs and clubs. How do I use a condom? Check 3 things on the condom package before use: 1. The condom is within date and hasn't expired. 2. Make sure there are no rips or tears in the packet. 3. Make sure that the condom has the BSI kite mark or CE mark on the package. This means that the condom has been tested to ensure high quality. Before opening, push the condom to one side of the package so that when you tear open the package you don't tear the condom. Make sure you have it the right way up by placing it over your finger tip. If you can't roll it down you need to turn it the over before putting it on the penis. If you notice the condom is inside out once on the penis, start again, with a new one, as there may be some sperm on it. Make sure the condom is put on the penis when it is fully erect, if not, it's more likely to come off. Place the condom on top of the erect penis and pinch the tip of the condom between thumb and forefinger to get rid of any air and allow for a little space at the top as you roll it down the shaft to the base of the penis. You can place a small amount of water-based or silicone-based lube on the condom for extra pleasure. If you are having anal sex you should use additional lube which you can apply to the outside of the anus or on the outside of the condom. Be careful not to use too much as it may cause the condom to slip off. Don't use oil based lubricants - they can make the condom split. After sex is finished withdraw the penis before it gets soft. Hold the condom on at the base of the penis until it is withdrawn from your partner's mouth, anus or vagina and then take it off. Do, check the condom from time to time and after half an hour change it for a new one. A condom is more likely to split if sex lasts over 30 minutes. Do put the condom in the bin, do not put them in the toilet as they can block it. Never reuse a condom. Always use a brand new condom if you have any sexual contact again. Never use two condoms together as this increases the chances of them splitting or tearing. What to do when condom breaks? If the condom splits or slips off during sex you or your partner could be at risk of unwanted pregnancy, HIV or another sexually transmitted infection. You could take emergency contraception to reduce the risk of pregnancy or Post-exposure Prophylaxsis (PEP) to reduce the risk of becoming HIV positive - but you need to act fast. You should also consider having an STI test.