The most commonly used barrier method is the male condom. Other options are female condoms and dental dams. A dental dam is a sheet of latex (or similar material) used during oral sex to help stop STIs being spread.

Condoms have been shown to reduce the risk of passing on STIs such as:

  • HIV and AIDS
  • Chlamydia
  • Gonorrhoea
  • Syphilis
  • Genital herpes

They are not completely guaranteed to prevent any risk but they do greatly reduce the risk. Latex condoms are the most effective but for those who are sensitive or allergic to latex, condoms made of polyurethane are also available and will help to reduce the risk of picking up an STI.

Condoms are free from ECHO sexual health clinics. Simply walk in and we’ll provide you with free condoms.

They are also available in some GP surgeries. Condoms can also be bought from pharmacies. Consider always having a condom with you ‘just in case’.