5 Things You Should Check Before Using A Condom

Condoms are one of the most popular and effective methods of contraception available till date. But are you using one correctly? Here are a few things you should keep in mind in order to practise safe sex.

By Sahajiya Halder
28 Mar 2022

Practising safe sex is of utmost importance, and there are many methods available in the market to prevent unwanted pregnancies and sexually transmitted infections (STIs). Condoms are the most well-known and widely used mode of contraception available. Condoms can be both male (external) and female (internal), although male condoms are more popular and usually more cost-effective. Latex is usually the most common material used to make condoms.


According to an article published in the Indian Journal of Sexually Transmitted Diseases and AIDS, the condom offers maximum protection (more than 90 per cent) against HIV, Hepatitis B virus and N.Gonorrhoea, and with perfect use (correct and consistent), efficacy is 97 per cent—but typical use (both incorrect and inconsistent) can lead to a failure rate of about 14 per cent, making the efficacy 86 per cent.


Related Story: Are You Using Birth Control Correctly?


Things To Remember When Using A (Male) Condom


1. Check the expiry date: The first and foremost thing to check is if the condom is expired. Check the expiry date on the package carefully, and do not use it if it is past the date mentioned. Also make sure that the packaging, as well as the condom, is intact, and there is no damage (such as tears). Improper storage conditions can also affect the state of the condom, so store them in a cool, dry place, away from extreme temperatures, humidity, or friction.


2. Use the correct size: Condoms come in many sizes, and it is prudent to use one that fits perfectly, for both safety and comfort. Condom that is too big can slip off, while one that is smaller in size can feel too tight and uncomfortable, and increases the risk of breaking.


3. Do not use teeth or nails: Be careful when opening the package. Refrain from using teeth, nails, or any sharp objects, as you may accidentally damage the condom. With clean hands, open the package from a corner.


4. Pinch the end: Make sure to pinch the tip of the condom before putting it on in order to keep space for ejaculatory fluid, and ensure there is no air bubble once the condom is on.


5. Follow the dos and don'ts: Put on the condom before initiating any contact between the penis and the partner's body parts, and use a new condom every time you have sex. Check if you have the correct side of the condom to put on, and unroll it the right way—the rim (the rolled edge) should be on the outside, so that it looks like a hat. Discard the condom if you have unrolled it the wrong way, and use a new one instead. Also keep in mind that oil-based lubricants can damage the integrity of latex condoms—a 1994 study published in the International Journal of STD & AIDS presented that use of oil-based lubricant increased breakage. Do not use male and female condoms at the same time, as the friction can increase chances of breakage or slippage.


Always remember that mutual consent is crucial and non-negotiable.


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