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Dams

Dams are not a type of contraception, but they are important to use during oral sex. A dam is a thin latex square held over the vaginal or anal area during oral sex. When they are used properly, dams act as a barrier to help reduce the risk of sexually transmitted infections (STIs). Dams can help protect against some STIs, like genital warts and herpes, as they can be passed on through skin-to-skin genital contact.

How to use them:

  1. Remove the dam from its plastic packaging and lay it flat, covering the entire vaginal or anal area.
  2. Hold the edges of the dam but be careful not to stretch it.
  3. Dispose of dams thoughtfully - do not flush them.

Remember:

  • Don't share dams or use them more than once.
  • Use only one side of the dam.
  • Always use a new dam if switching between oral-vaginal and oral-anal sex.
  • Using Gladwrap is not a safe alternative to dams, but a condom split along one side and laid flat can be used as a dam.
  • A water-based lubricant (like Wet Stuff or KY) on the underside of the dam can increase sensitivity.
  • Store dams in a dry cool place away from direct sunlight - heat can cause the latex in dams to deteriorate, making them more likely to break.
  • They do not prevent pregnancy.

They cost roughly $1 each. Get them from Sexual and Reproductive Health WA and some chemists.

Condoms & contraception
Types of contraception

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