What are Condoms?

Condoms are usually made of latex rubber and cover the penis or sex toys. This is so that semen and other fluids released during sex are not passed between partners. By using condoms during sex, you are less likely to catch a sexually transmitted infection and more likely to avoid unplanned pregnancy.

You can use condoms for Anal, Oral and Vaginal sex. If you have a latex allergy then you can get non latex condoms.

Why Use Condoms?

Condoms cover the penis and stop sperm getting into the vagina/anus. If used correctly, condoms can help prevent transmission of sexually transmitted infections such as, Gonorrhoea, Chlamydia and blood borne viruses such as HIV.

Condoms are 98% effective in preventing pregnancy if used correctly and consistently. Condoms can split, burst or come off if they don’t fit correctly. Condoms come in a variety of shapes and sizes to suit everyone.

If used correctly, internal condoms (you may have heard of Femidoms or vaginal condoms) can help prevent transmission of sexually transmitted infections and blood borne viruses.

internal, previously known as "female", for vaginal use

Internal condoms are 95% effective in preventing pregnancy. If used correctly and consistently. Unlike a condom, they can be inserted into the vagina before sex.

How Do I Use Them?


  • Make sure your condom has the British Standard Kitemark (this means the condom has been safety tested) or the CE European standard mark (meaning the factory has been tested).

  • Check the expiry date of the condom.

  • Open the package carefully (don’t use your teeth!)

  • Make sure the tip is pointing up and the ring is on the outside.

  • Pinch the tip and keep it pinched as you place the condom on the erect penis or sex toy.

  • Place the condom on an erect penis or sex toy and roll it as far down as it will go.  

  • The condom should be removed before the penis has totally lost the erection otherwise the contents may spill out.
  • When finished, hold on to the bottom of the condom when withdrawing the penis, this stops the condom slipping off.

  • Make sure no semen spills out by tying a knot in the condom. Put it in a bin, not the toilet.

  • If you have sex again, use a new condom.

Con-Do's & Con-Don'ts

Below are some tips on the Do’s and Don’ts of using condoms!

  • DO Remember you can get Emergency Contraception if a condom breaks or you have sex without using a condom.  You can get Emergency Contraception from your pharmacy or GP free of charge.
  • DO Use a water based lubricant If you are having anal sex, if you or your partner have vaginal dryness. Condoms are more likely to burst if there is a lot of friction. You can get this at any sexual health service or CCard/condom outlet
  • DO Practice using condoms (if /when you masturbate) if you’re new to using them
  • DO Try different brands and styles to see what feels & fits best for you.
  • DO Carry fresh condoms with you all the time – it’s great to be prepared!
  • DO Check the expiry date before you put one on.
  • DO Put the condom on before the action starts!
  • DO Use a flavoured condom for oral sex!
  • DO Put a new condom on each time you switch between oral, vaginal and anal sex.
  • DO Use condoms on sex toys and change them- especially if you’re sharing toys.
  • DON’T Flush used condoms down the toilet. Nobody wants to find a condom on the beach, and fish don’t want them in the ocean!
  • DON’T Keep condoms in hot places like your car glove-box or wallet.
  • DON’T Use more than one condom at a time. More condoms doesn’t mean more protection!
  • DON’T Use condoms that are past their expiry date – they might not keep you safe from STIs and unwanted pregnancy.
  • DON’T Use any oil-based products as lube – this means baby lotion, lipstick, suntan lotion, moisturisers and body cream, cooking oils and Vaseline. They may damage the condom.
  • DON’T Use animal skin condoms – they don’t protect against STIs. If you have an allergy to latex you should try polyurethane/non-latex condoms instead.
  • DON’T Use a condom more than once. It’s a one-time deal!

Condoms by Post

The condoms by post service is free and confidential.

If you would like to order Free Condoms- by Post, click the link below and you will be taken to a page with an order form and instructions on what to do next. Please note – if you do not live in Tayside your order will not be processed.  Click here to order Free Condoms.

The Scheme is open to all 14-25 year olds.

Once registered you can place an order for condoms and lube and we will deliver them straight to your door in a plain envelope.  Please note the MAXIMUM number of condoms/lubrication supplied in any one order will be 24 (with the exception of Latex Free and Vaginal condoms which are limited to 12 per order). Due to high demand, for each email address we can only supply one order per week. We will do our best to process all orders within 5 working days however this may be subject to change.

The following products are available to order:

  • Regular Condoms – Pack of 12 or 24
  • Trim Condoms (narrow fit) – Pack of 12 or 24
  • King Size Condoms – Pack of 12 or 24
  • Latex Free Condoms (for latex allergies) – Pack of 12
  • Light Lube 5ml Sachets – Pack of 12 or 24
  • Vaginal condoms (can be used for anal sex) – Pack of 6 or 12

If you would like further information about the service, email us at tay.bbvmcn@nhs.scot


The CCard Scheme

The CCard Scheme, allows you to get condoms in the way that suits you best!

We have THREE different ways you can access FREE condoms:

  1. You can have a physical, plastic ‘CCard’. By visiting one of the registration or  ‘UNLOCK’ points, you can get free condoms and ask for a CCard. The CCard will show the next person you get condoms from, that you have had a chat about condoms at one of our outlets. You can use it at any outlet on the map.
  2. You can download our app and get a CCard on your phone. Click here to download the app on an Apple device or here to download it on Android. Then, head along to one of the PURPLE  ‘UNLOCK’ points on the map! It works the same as the card.
  3. Ask for condoms, but tell them you don’t want to join and don’t want a CCard.  “Just the Johnnies thanks!”  There are loads of great reasons to get a CCard (free condoms, for one) but if you don’t want one, nobody will force you.

Where to get Free Condoms?

The condom finder map shows where free condoms are available.

This includes:

Interested in becoming a distributor for the Condom Initiative?

If you are interested in joining the Tayside Condom Initiative, so that you can support the people you work with around their sexual health, you can access more information here.

If you have any other questions regarding condom distribution in Tayside, please get in touch with us.

Email: tay.bbvmcn@nhs.scot or graeme.cockburn@nhs.scot


What's available?

Finding the right condom for you is essential. The right size, shape and material (latex/non-latex) is really important if you want your condom to be as comfortable as possible.

These are a natural fitting condom, shaped to fit at the head of the penis to be more comfortable.

If you find that standard condoms are a tight fit you can try out our larger condoms. These are wider and longer – getting the size right is important to make sure the condom doesn’t split.


If you find that standard condoms are a loose fit you can try out our trim fit condoms. These are designed to provide a closer fit – getting the size right is important to make sure the condom doesn’t slip.


These are black, latex condoms. They are a little wider than regular condoms.

internal, previously known as "female", for vaginal use


Internal condoms are lubricated sheaths which are worn inside the vagina. The Internal condom has a ring at each end. The inner ring at the closed end is inserted into the vagina and helps keep the condom in place during sex. The ring at the open end stays outside the vagina.



This non-latex condom is made from is extremely strong and durable material and offers a very high level of protection.

This condom can be safely used by people with a latex allergy. Its unique packaging is easy to open and ensures the condom will always be the right way up.

Lightly lubricated for your comfort, it is safe to use any water and most oil-based lubricants with these condoms.


Flavoured and coloured for tasty fun. Flavours include Mint Tingle (green), Strawberry Crush (red), Chocolate Temptation (brown) and Blueberry Blast (blue).

These condoms are exactly the same as regular condoms but more fun!

Lube comes in 5 ml sachets and can be used with all of the condoms above. Definitely recommended for anal sex!