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Condoms 101

By on July 10, 2015

Brothers should use a new condom every time you have sexual intercourse; from the moment the penis first comes into contact with the vagina or anus, until there is no contact to avoid sexually transmitted infections. Never use the same condom twice.

Use condom only with a partial or full erection

  • Open the condom packet at one corner being careful not to tear the condom with your fingernails, your teeth, or through being too rough. Make sure the packet and condom appear to be in good condition, and check that the expiry date has not passed.
  • Place the rolled condom over the tip of the hard penis, whilst pinching the tip of the condom enough to leave a half inch space for semen to collect. Never unroll the condom before putting it onto the penis. If the penis is not circumcised, pull back the foreskin before rolling on the condom.

Condoms are usually made of latex or polyurethane. If possible you should use a latex condom, as they are slightly more reliable and in most countries they are most readily available. Latex condoms can only be used with water based lubricants, not oil based lubricants such as Vaseline or cold cream as they break down the latex.

Condoms and Anal Sex

With anal intercourse more strain is placed on the condom. You can use stronger condoms (which are thicker) but standard condoms are just as effective as long as they are used correctly with plenty of lubricant. Condoms with a lubricant containing nonoxynol-9 should NOT be used for anal sex as nonoxynol-9 damages the lining of the rectum increasing the risk of HIV and STI transmission.

Limitations of Condoms

  • The FDA never has not cleared or approved any condoms specifically for anal sex
  • When it comes to anal intercourse, recent research shows condoms prevent seven out of 10 HIV transmissions.

Condoms can deteriorate if not stored properly as they are affected by both heat and light. So it’s best not to use a condom that has been stored in your back pocket, your wallet, or the glove compartment of your car. If a condom feels sticky or very dry you shouldn’t use it as the packaging has probably been damaged.

Know that you can find free latex condoms at any local public health clinic or hospital.


Content for this article provided by Avert.org and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.