Correctly using male (also called external) condoms and other barriers like female (also called internal) 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 male (external) and female (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 male (external) and female (internal) condoms and dental dams, as well male (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 Male (also called External) Condom
- The Right Way to Use Female (also called Internal) Condom
- How To Use A Dental Dam As A Barrier For Oral Sex
Male (also called External) Condom Effectiveness
- Condoms and STDs: Fact Sheet for Public Health Personnel
- Condoms and STDs: Fact Sheet in Brief
Additional CDC Resources for Consumers
- Learn about male (external) and female (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.