Are condoms expensive?

This, and other condom-related questions answered, in this article. Read on.

Condoms are the most commonly-used birth control tool during sex. They offer the easiest form of protection against pregnancy and sexual infections. Plus, they don’t cause any pain to the user – in fact, they enhance pleasure for both partners during sex.

As a new user, you might have a few questions about condoms, condom prices and how to use them. We answer them below:

* Are condoms expensive? I want a cheap birth control method.

Condom prices in India are quite low, and there is a wide range of condoms you can pick from. Most condom packs are priced between Rs 150 to Rs 180 for about 10 condoms per box. The condom price depends on the material of the condom, whether it is textured or lubricated, its durability (in terms of longer shelf life), etc. If you compare the cost of each condom with the cost of other surgical and non-surgical birth control methods, then you will find that condoms do offer the most affordable birth control.

* How do I pick the right size of condom?

The right condom is all about the perfect fit. It should be snug, not tight or loose. The two factors to look for are width and girth. Condoms in India are normally available in two standard sizes: 180 mm length and 53 mm width, and smaller ones measure 170 mm length and 49 mm width. If you are unsure about the size you need, measure the erect penis for length by holding a tape measure from the base to the tip of the penis. Measure the girth by winding the tape measure around the thickest part of the penis.

* What is the material I should look for?

Leading condom brands in India manufacture rubber latex condoms. They are lubricated on the outside and offer the most elasticity. They also do not cause irritation the way sheepskin condoms might.

* What happens if I don’t use a condom?

Condoms are meant to protect you and your sexual partner from sexual diseases and illnesses, and also unwanted pregnancies. They create a barrier between the penis and the vagina/mouth/anus, so there is no exchange of bodily fluids during sex. Also, they hold the ejaculated semen inside the condom and don’t allow it to flow into the vaginal canal. So, not using a condom can result in a pregnancy, as well as the transmission of STDs and STIs between partners.

* Are there any alternatives to condoms?

If you mean, are there any alternative birth control methods, then there are a few options to consider. You could try a female condom or vaginal sponge (inserted inside the vagina and close to the cervix before sex). Other forms of birth control include the hormonal injection (taken once every 12 weeks), hormonal patch (applied by the doctor on the woman’s inner arm) or surgical interventions like inserting an intra-uterine device (IUD).