Island Sexual Health Society Be informed, not surprised!

How to use condoms properly

2006 May 23

Condoms are very effective in “preventing pregnancy”:/birthcontrol/condom/ and some “sexually transmitted infections”:/infections/, including “HIV/AIDS”:/infections/hiv-aids/, as long as you use them properly.

* “Storage and safety tips”:#tips
* “Step by step instructions”:#instructions

Find out more about “using condoms to prevent pregnancy”:/birthcontrol/condoms/ in the birth control section.

h3(#tips). Condom storage and safety tips

* Condoms should be stored in a cool place away from direct sunlight
* Condoms can only be used once
* Never let Vaseline or oil-based products come in contact with latex condoms. Oils put microscopic holes in the latex.
* Everyone should carry their own supply of condoms.
* Keep extra condoms on hand in case one is expired or damaged, or you make a mistake trying to use it.

h3(#instructions). Condom instructions

Follow these ten simple steps for proper condom use.

h4(#expiry). Step 1: Check expiry date and package

!/images/91t.jpg (Step 1: check expiry date of the condom)!

Every condom has an expiry date printed on the package. Before using a condom, make sure it has not expired. Check the package for any holes or signs of damage. Don’t use damaged condoms!

h4(#erection). Step 2: Erection

!/images/92t.jpg (Step 2 of condom use: erection)!

Condoms should be rolled onto the erect penis before any genital contact.

h4(#package). Step 3: Take condom out of package

!/images/93t.jpg (Step 3: Take condom out of package)!

Be careful not to snag the condom on the package, your nails, or other objects.

h4(#squeeze-air). Step 4: Squeeze air from tip of condom

!/images/94t.jpg (Step 4: Squeeze air from tip of condom)!

A 1/2″ space should be left at the end of the condom to collect semen after ejaculation. Some condoms have a nipple at the end for this purpose.

h4(#roll). Step 5: Roll condom down to base of penis

!/images/95t.jpg (Step 5: Roll condom down to base of penis)!

If you accidentally try to put the condom on backwards and it won’t unroll, throw it away and use a new condom. The clear pre-ejaculate fluid on the end of the penis contains sperm and can carry infections; once a condom has touched the penis you can not safely flip it over.

h4(#intercourse). Step 6: Intercourse

!/images/96t.jpg (Step 6 of condom use: Intercourse)!

Always use a new condom if changing from anal to vaginal or oral intercourse.

Dry condoms are more likely to tear, so use a water-based lubricant outside the condom to keep it slippery.

h4(#ejaculation). Step 7: Ejaculation

!/images/97t.jpg (Step 7 of condom use: Ejaculation)!

After ejaculation, semen should stay completely inside the condom.

h4(#withdraw). Step 8: Hold onto rim of condom and withdraw

!/images/98t.jpg (Step 8: Hold onto rim of condom and withdraw)!

After ejaculation the penis quickly becomes smaller. The condom should be held against the base of the penis while the penis is withdrawn, to prevent any leakage.

h4(#loss-of-erection). Step 9: Loss of erection

!/images/99t.jpg (Step 9 of condom use: Loss of erection)!

The penis should be withdrawn before the loss of erection, not after.

h4(#garbage). Step 10: Throw condom in the garbage

!/images/100t.jpg (Step 10: Throw condom in the garbage)!

Tie off the condom or wrap it in tissue, and throw it in the garbage. Wash your hands.

Do not try to flush condoms down the toilet. They can cause clogs, or come back up!