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
, as they can be passed on through skin-to-skin genital contact.
How to use them:
- Remove the dam from its plastic packaging and lay it flat, covering the entire vaginal or anal area.
- Hold the edges of the dam but be careful not to stretch it.
- Dispose of dams thoughtfully - do not flush them.
- 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