Correctly using external (sometimes called male) condoms and other barriers like internal (sometimes called female) condoms and dental dams, every time, can reduce (though not eliminate) the risk of sexually transmitted diseases (STDs), including human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) and viral hepatitis. They can also provide protection against other diseases that may be transmitted through sex like Zika and Ebola. Using external and internal condoms correctly, every time, can also help prevent pregnancy.
This website provides information for both consumers and public health professionals on the correct use of external and internal condoms and dental dams, as well external condom effectiveness for STDs, and links to additional resources.
How to Use Condoms and Other Barriers
These pages contain sexually graphic images and may not be suitable for some audiences
- The Right Way to Use an External (sometimes called Male) Condom
- The Right Way to Use an Internal (sometimes called Female) Condom
- How To Use A Dental Dam As A Barrier For Oral Sex
External (sometimes called Male) Condom Effectiveness
Additional CDC Resources for Consumers
- Learn about external and internal condoms and their effectiveness in HIV Prevention Basics.
- How effective are birth control methods?
- For Teens: Teen Pregnancy
- Teen Pregnancy Brochure: It’s your future. You can protect it. Know how to use a condom the right way, every time pdf icon[1.84 MB]
Additional CDC Resources for Public Health Professionals
- Selected References
- STD Clinical Prevention Guidelines
- CDC Contraceptive Guidance for Health Care Providers
- Learn about condom distribution as a structural level intervention for HIV prevention.