A condom is a sheath-like covering, usually made of a thin but strong latex rubber that fits over an erect penis. You have many choices when it comes to condoms. Some are lubricated with plain lube, flavored lube or spermicide, and they're also available without any lubricant. The options continue with a variety of specialty condoms: different shapes, colors, sizes and flavors. Just be sure the condom you choose says it prevents STIs and pregnancy.
Condoms made of latex are the most effective at STI prevention and are the most widely available type. Polyurethane condoms are also available and do provide good STI and pregnancy protection. Some condoms are made of animal skin, often called lambskin condoms. These "natural condoms" are effective for pregnancy prevention only. They do not provide protection against STIs because the pores in the animal skin are large enough to allow some bacteria or viruses to pass through the condom. Please note that when we discuss condoms effectiveness for STI prevention below, we are referring to latex or polyurethane condoms only.