Birth control is a way for men and women to prevent pregnancy. There are many different methods of birth control; some types also protect against sexually transmitted diseases, or STDs. Condoms are one type of birth control that -- in addition to preventing pregnancy -- also prevent the spread of STDs. Most condoms are made of a type of rubber called "latex." Latex condoms are the most effective condom at preventing STDs.
Condoms come in all shapes, sizes, and materials. Latex condoms provide protection from sexually transmitted diseases by preventing the infected area from coming into contact with the partner. Polyurethane condoms provide some protection, although not as much as latex. Condoms are about 85% effective for birth control. With careful use, they are even more effective.