Condom use has been around for a very long time. The earliest known illustration of a man using a condom is in a cave in France, according to Planned Parenthood. It is 12,000–15,000 years old.
The first modern condoms were made from real rubber and produced by Goodyear. Condoms are now made from soft, ultra-thin synthetic materials.
Male condoms are available in latex, lambskin and polyurethane. The manufacturing process includes electronically testing them for holes, after which they are rolled, lubricated and foiled.
Putting a condom on wrong is the most common mistake. Most often, people start by putting a condom on inside out, realizing their mistake, and then turning it right side out.
If the condom won’t roll down, it’s on the wrong way. Do not be tempted to put this same condom on the correct way -- there can now be semen on the outside, right where you don't want it.
Throw the condom out and start again with a new condom.
Other common mistakes: putting one on too late and taking it off too soon.
Using two condoms at once is a bad idea. It increases the chance of them ripping. Use only one at a time.
Using lubrication is good but avoid lubricant with oil as it can dissolve condoms. That includes baby oil, petroleum jelly and hand cream. Use a water-based lubricant such as K-Y jelly.
Condoms are effective in preventing unintended pregnancy. Other advantages include low cost, easy access, simple disposal and minimal side effects.
Condoms also offer protection against most serious sexually transmitted infections (STIs) by preventing the exchange of body fluids such as semen, genital discharge or infectious secretions.
When used consistently and correctly, latex condoms are highly effective in preventing the sexual transmission of HIV during vaginal, oral, or anal intercourse, as well as several sexually transmitted infections.
Condoms manufactured from lambskin can prevent pregnancy, but they contain small pores that may allow passage of some sexually transmitted diseases including HIV, the hepatitis B virus and the herpes simplex virus.
Regular-size condoms are fine for most men.