Accessing free condoms should be easy and well advertised. Those who had decent sex education classes at school, or have gone onto further education of one kind or another, will have been offered free condoms in order to practice safe sex.
While some parents may have initially worried that this was encouraging promiscuity among teens, most quickly caught on that what it was actually encouraging was an awareness of – and an attempt to curb the problem of – teen pregnancy, STDs and other complications of sex. Many teens are having sex long before they’re offered complimentary contraception, and free condoms is one way of trying to educate and ensure that teens, and indeed anyone having sex, were taking precautions.
This also impacts people of all ages. A large number of women don’t want to take the pill or similar contraception because of some of the adverse side effects, from weight gain and hormonal changes to various health matters, but they still want to have sex: again, the availability of free condoms can help with this. And in these cash-strapped times, not being able to afford condoms is a direct threat to sexually active people who want to stay safe and avoid unwanted pregnancy.
Thankfully there are many ways to get hold of free condoms, and their availability is widely encouraged, although it is important to point out that NO contraception is 100% guaranteed to stop STDs or pregnancy, and condoms are no exception. If in doubt, read up about the effectiveness of condoms or consult a medical expert.
You could start with the NHS website
Let’s Talk About allow you to discuss your concerns in confidence, online, in person or on the phone with an NHS sexual health expert.
By post, you can order free condoms direct to your door (from the same link) via your Personal Health Record. This is a private and confidential service and condoms are dispatched in a plain, postmarked envelope within 10 working days.
If you’re at school or college, the medical room will have free condoms and confidential advice on hand. Local hospitals and GP practices will have free condoms available too, with advice on other contraception if needed. If you’re under 25, condoms are legally free for you. If you’re older and unable to afford condoms, talk to your GP or similar health expert.
YorSexualHealth help with lots of stuff. if you need to protect against STIs and/or pregnancy and fall into one of the following categories:
- Anyone aged 16 -24
- Men who have sex with men, young LGBT
- People from African communities
- Sex workers and people who inject drugs
There is a wealth of further information online but the above is a solid place to start. If you’re in any doubt that you qualify for free condoms, start by asking a health professional. They may also be able to help you with the issue of affordability.