Latex condoms do not completely eliminate the risks of pregnancy and sexually transmitted infections (STIs).
To get the most protection from a latex condom, use one correctly every time you have sex.
A latex condom can reduce the risk of STI transmission to or from the head of the penis. However, some STIs can also be spread by other sexual contact.
For additional information on STI protection, please read below
If you believe you have an STI, contact a health care provider. For more information on condoms or STIs contact a health care provider or public health agency.
- Do not reuse latex condoms.
- Store latex condoms in a cool, dry place (below 100°F) and avoid exposure to direct sunlight.
- If the rubber material is sticky or brittle or obviously damaged, do not use the condom.
- If the color is uneven or changed, do not use the condom.
- Make sure there is adequate lubrication. If you add lubricant, use a water-based lubricant. [Manufacturers may identify one or more examples.] DO NOT USE OIL-BASED LUBRICANTS, such as those made with petroleum jelly (e.g., Vaseline®), mineral oil, vegetable oil, or cold cream, as these may damage the condom.
Degree of STI Protection:
Latex condoms reduce the risk of transmitting STIs by providing a barrier against the source of the infection.
Latex condoms are most effective against STIs such as HIV infection (AIDS) and gonorrhea that are spread by contact with the head of the penis.
Latex condoms are less effective against STIs such as Human Papillomavirus (HPV) and herpes. These STIs can also be spread by contact with infected skin that is not covered by the condom.
If you believe you have an STI, contact a health care provider. For more information on latex condoms or STIs, contact a health care provider or a public health agency.