How To Use Condoms

What's so important about using condoms?

CONDOMS CAN PREVENT DISEASE AND UNPLANNED PREGNANCY.

And let's face it, sex is more fun when you're not worried about getting pregnant or getting an STD.

Abstinence is the only way to avoid becoming infected with an STD or getting pregnant. However, condoms are highly effective at preventing STDs. If you feel you and your partner are ready to have sex, it is important to use protection every time. That means using a condom - and using it right.

Learn everything you need to know about condoms on these pages.

Condoms prevent transmission of:

  • HIV
  • Gonorrhea
  • Chlamydia
  • Trichomoniasis
  • Herpes*
  • Syphilis*
  • Chancroid*
  • * when the sore or blister is covered

Using a condom can also reduce the risk of cancer from HPV (genital warts) and protect you from getting an STD you may have had before.

There's more than one type of condom?

Click on the links to the left to find out more about the types of condoms you'll see.

Male Condoms

The most popular type of male condom is made from latex, a very thin rubber. These are the most popular and most recommended because they are very good at preventing pregnancy and the spread of STDs, as long they're used right. For people with latex allergies, the best thing to use is polyurethane or polyisoprene (sort of like a very thin, soft plastic) condoms. These condoms are also very effective in protecting against STDs.

You may also see condoms made out of lambskin for sale in drug stores.DO NOT use lambskin instead of latex, polyurethane, or polyisoprene. These condoms arenot goodat preventing transmission of STDs (including HIV) and are not recommended by the FDA for this use.

Okay, so how do I put it on?

As we've said before, condoms can't do their job unless they're used correctly. Using a condom can be harder than it looks. But with these helpful tips and how-to video, you should be good to go!

How to use a male condom

  1. STORE CONDOMS IN A COOL, DARK PLACE. Leaving them in the glove box of your car or saving one in your wallet or backpack for a long period of time could damage a condom (it might be weaker or break more easily).
  2. CHECK THE EXPIRATION DATE. Just like food, condoms can go bad. It is important to check the date before using it.
  3. OPEN THE WRAPPER CAREFULLY. Make sure your fingernails don't nick, tear or rip the condom. And no matter how cool the movies make it look, DO NOT open the package with your teeth because you could tear the condom in the process.
  4. PINCH THE TIP. Once out of the package, hold the tip of the condom between your thumb and pointer finger. Leaving a space at the head of the penis for semen, use your other hand to unroll the condom slowly over the erect penis shaft. Don't double up!
  5. AFTER EJACULATION (coming), and while the penis is still hard, hold the condom at the base of the penis and pull out of your partner's vagina or anus. Gently roll the condom back toward the penis head and remove. Throw it in the trash. DO NOT flush it down the toilet.

What do you do if the condom breaks?

If the condom breaks during sex pull out and replace it with a brand new condom. A guy should feel this as he is thrusting. Just follow these steps again to make sure the second condom is used in the right way.Having a condom break can be scary. If you're worried about STDs or pregnancy, visit one of our free and confidential Health Centers 1 or 5.

Female Condoms

Let's not leave out the girls! There are female condoms also known as the Reality Condom or the Female Condom 2 (FC2). These condoms are made out of nitrile, not latex, and fit inside the vagina. Female condoms are not as effective at preventing pregnancy and transmission of STDs like male condoms are, but they do have advantages. If you're using a female condom, the male does not have to be hard to put the condom on. The female can insert the condom into the vagina before sexual touching has even started.

Female condoms are available at Health Centers 1 and 5.

Okay, so how do I put it in?

As we've said before, condoms can't do their job unless they're used correctly. Using a condom can be harder than it looks. But with these helpful tips and how-to video, you should be good to go!

How to use a female condom

Learning how to use the female condom may take some practice, but once you get the hang of it they're easy to use!

  1. CHECK THE EXPIRATION DATE. Just like food, all condoms go bad. It is important to check the date before you use it.
  2. LUBE IT UP. Some female condoms come with lube on them. Before opening it, lightly squish the packaging and move the condom around a little. This makes sure the lube is evenly spread out. If it doesn't come with lube, apply lube to the outside of the female condom. GET COMFY. Every girl is different. Figure out what position works for you. You can stand with one foot on a chair, sit on the edge of a chair, lie down, squat, or for fun, have your partner help you out.
  3. INSERT it into the VAGINA. Squeeze together the sides of the inner ring at the closed end of the condom and insert it into the vagina, just like a tampon.
  4. PUSH it in with YOUR FINGER. Push the inner ring into the vagina as far as it can go - until it reaches your cervix.
  5. LET the OUTER RING HANG OUT. Pull out your finger and let the outer ring hang about an inch outside the vagina.
  6. REMOVE IT. When you and your partner have finished, squeeze and twist the outer ring to keep any semen inside the pouch. Gently pull it out of the vagina and throw it away in a trash can. Do not flush it down the toilet.

Sometimes during sex, the female condom will move around. It's possible the penis might slip between the condom and the vaginal wall. If this happens or if the outer ring gets pushed into the vagina, stop having sex, remove the female condom, and replace it with a new one. If this happens and you're worried about STDs or pregnancy, visit one of our free and confidential Health Centers 1 or 5.