Condoms are sold in lots of different stores, and you can even get them for free from many health centers. Here's the lowdown.
Where can I get condoms?
One of the best things about condoms is that they're sold pretty much everywhere, which makes them super convenient and easy to get.
You can get condoms from drugstores, Planned Parenthood health centers, community health centers, doctor's offices, supermarkets, convenience stores, online, and even from vending machines. You don't need a prescription and there are no age restrictions — anybody can buy condoms.
Some people feel kind of awkward going into a store and buying condoms, but your health is more important than a little embarrassment. Besides, buying condoms shouldn't be embarrassing in the first place — it means you're being responsible, and protecting yourself and your partner.
If you feel like you absolutely can't go into a store and buy condoms for yourself, ask someone you trust for help. You can also visit a Planned Parenthood health center or other community health center for condoms and advice about birth control and STDs.
How much do condoms cost?
You don't have to spend a ton of money to protect yourself from pregnancy and STDs. Condoms are usually inexpensive, and can even be free.
On average, condoms cost about a dollar each, but it may be less or more depending on the brand, store, and package — most of the time larger packs end up being a better value. Boxes of 3 go for about $2 to $6. In packages of 12 or more, condoms usually cost less than $1 each. So stocking up on condoms not only helps you be prepared, it can also save money.
Affordable or free condoms are often available at Planned Parenthood health centers, family planning clinics, your local health department, community centers, college health centers, or your doctor's office.
Your health is priceless — no matter how much condoms cost, the pregnancy and STD protection they give you is totally worth it. If you're worried about how to pay for condoms, your local Planned Parenthood health center can help you get condoms and other birth control methods for free or low cost.
What are the best condoms to get?
Most condoms are made from latex, a type of rubber. There are also condoms made out of soft plastics like polyurethane, polyisoprene, and nitrile if you're allergic to latex.
Lambskin and other animal membrane condoms only prevent pregnancy — they don't protect you from HIV or other STDs.
When it comes to effectiveness, using condoms correctly every time you have sex is more important than buying a certain brand. All latex and plastic condoms provide similar protection against pregnancy and STDs. Whether they're strawberry flavored, glow in the dark, or regular ol' condoms, just check the box or wrapper to make sure it says that the condom protects against STDs and pregnancy.
Condoms come in different sizes, textures, shapes, and even flavors (for oral sex). You can try different types of condoms to find the one that you like best. Condoms are very stretchy and versatile, so most people will fit into a basic condom comfortably. If you find that standard condoms feel too tight, buy a larger size. If condoms tend to slip around a lot or fall off during sex, try a smaller size.
Condoms last a long time, but they break down with age and when they're not stored properly. No matter where you get your condoms, check them out before use. Make sure the wrapper doesn't have holes or leaks and the expiration date hasn't passed.