How do I use a condom correctly?
A condom can help prevent pregnancy and sexually transmitted infections (STIs) when used correctly during sex. Lambskin (also called sheepskin or natural membrane) condoms do not protect against STIs.
- Store condoms in a cool, dry place: Do not keep them in your wallet or pocket for a long time because heat may damage the condom.
- Use condoms with a second form of protection: The best way to protect you and your partner is to use a condom with a sponge, cervical cap, or spermicide. Ask your caregiver for information about other methods of contraception.
- Use a new condom every time you have sex: Do not use condoms past the expiration date. Make sure the package is sealed and in good shape. Open the package carefully.
- Check the condom during sex: If your condom rolls up during sex, roll it back down. If it slips off, replace it with a new one.
- Use water-based lubricant: If you use lubricant, it must be water-based lubricant. Do not use petroleum jelly, cooking oil, mineral oil, lotion or saliva because these may damage the condom. If it is used for anal sex, use extra lubricant to prevent the condom from breaking.
- Wash after sex: You and your partner should wash your hands and genitals thoroughly after sex to help prevent STIs.
How do I put on a condom?
- Place the rolled condom over the tip of your erect penis: If you are not circumcised, pull back your foreskin before you put the condom on. You may choose to put 1 or 2 drops of water-based lubricant inside the rolled condom before you put it on.
- Leave ½ inch space at the tip to collect semen: Use your forefinger and thumb to pinch the tip of the condom to remove extra air. Trapped air may cause the condom to burst.
- Unroll the condom over your penis: Roll it all the way down to the base of your penis. Smooth out any air bubbles and lubricate the outside of the condom. If the condom does not reach the base of your penis, remove it. The condom may be too small or inside out. Throw it away and use a new one.
How do I remove a used condom?
- Remove your condom before your penis softens: Hold the condom against the base of your penis while you slide it off so you do not spill the semen. Do not pull it from the tip or roll it off.
- Throw away your used condom in a trash container: Do not flush it down the toilet.
What are the risks of condom use?
You may have decreased sensation or loss of erection. You may have an allergy or irritation to a latex condom. If it is not used correctly, a condom may break, leak, or slip and increase the risk of pregnancy or an STI.
What if my condom breaks, leaks, or slips?
Your female partner can use emergency contraception to decrease the risk of a possible pregnancy. It should be taken as soon as possible after a condom accident. Ask your caregiver for more information about emergency contraception. Ask your caregiver to test you for STIs if you are concerned about an infection.
When should I contact my caregiver?
Contact your caregiver if:
- You have sudden itching, redness, or swelling on your penis.
- You have nausea, vomiting, or stomach cramps.
- A condom breaks or slips off after ejaculation and your female partner could become pregnant
- You have questions or concerns about your condition or care.
You have the right to help plan your care. Learn about your health condition and how it may be treated. Discuss treatment options with your caregivers to decide what care you want to receive. You always have the right to refuse treatment.
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The above information is an educational aid only. It is not intended as medical advice for individual conditions or treatments. Talk to your doctor, nurse or pharmacist before following any medical regimen to see if it is safe and effective for you.