What are condoms?
A condom is a stretchy tube of latex rubber or polyurethane. One end is closed. Most condoms have a small pouch at the closed end (the teat), which collects semen and holds it in the condom. Condoms are designed to fit over the erect penis, so put the condom on when the penis is erect. If you try to put it on to a soft penis, it will fall off.
How effective are condoms?
Written by: Dr Margaret Stearn
Edited by: Dr Margaret Stearn
Last updated: Thursday, October 15th 2015
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Early condoms were made of linen or pig or sheep's gut, tied at the end with ribbon. After sex, they were rinsed out and reused!
An 18th-century illustrated condom, featuring three naughty nuns, was sold at a Christie's auction for £3,300
There is no truth in the story that condoms were invented by a Dr Condom, physician to Charles II
Although it has been suggested that condoms were used by the Ancient Egyptians, the earliest actual report of a condom was by the Italian anatomist, Fallapio in 1564. He claimed to have invented a linen sheath, made to fit the penis, as protection against syphilis
In England, condoms are known as 'French Letters'. In Italy, they used to be called 'English Overcoats'