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Dr. Andrew Rynne
Dr. Andrew Rynne

Family Physician

Exp 50 years

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Article Home Sexology How to wear a Condom

How to wear a Condom

Condoms are the only form of protection that can both help to stop the transmission of sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) such as HIV and prevent pregnancy.

Wearing a condom has double advantage

Using a condom while having sex protects you from becoming infected with sexually transmitted diseases such as HIV. At the same time it also prevents unwanted pregnancy.

Selecting the right condom

There are several types of condoms available in the market that you can choose from

  • Most condoms are made of either latex or polyurethane. Latex condoms are more effective in terms of providing protection as chances of tear or leak are less. However, latex condoms will easily tear if an oil-based lubricant is used. Some people may also be allergic to latex
  • Polyurethane condoms are thinner, which may give some users better sensation and pleasure
  • Some condoms contain a spermicidal chemical called Nonoxynol 9. Till recently it was  thought that adding it would provide better protection against  pregnancy and the transmission of HIV and other STDs, but recent studies have shown no added advantage
  • Size of the condom should generally not be a concern as most condoms fit most men. The definition of regular, large, and extra-large is not consistent across brands. It may be a good idea to try a few products to figure  out what works the best for you. The basic idea is that it should not be so tight that it pinches or so loose that it slips off

How to use a condom?

  • Check the expiry date on the condom packet. Do not use the condom if the expiry date has passed.
  • Tear open the condom package carefully. Do not use scissors or your teeth to open the package as you may damage the condom in the process.
  • Remove the condom from the package, but do not unroll it right away. It is tough to put on an unrolled condom and it also makes it  more likely to tear.
  • See if the condom has a reservoir tip. If it does not, pinch the tip of the condom  to leave a half inch space for semen to collect.
  • Now place the rolled condom over the tip of the erect penis. Uncircumsied men should pull back the foreskin before rolling down the condom.
  • Gently unroll the condom over the penis with the other hand all the way down to the base. Smooth out air bubbles as they can cause the condom to break.
  • You may apply some water-based lubricants such as KY-Jellly or Durex Play on the outer surface of the condom for extra lubrication. This is helpful if you or your partner are having intercourse for the first time. Do not use oil-based lubricants such as vaseline, cold creams and lotions because these can cause the condom to tear.


Proper Usage Entails

  • Not putting the condom on too tight at the end, and leaving about 1.5 cm (3/4 inch) room at the tip for ejaculation. Putting the condom on too snug can and often does lead to failure.
  • Wearing a condom too loose can defeat the barrier.
  • Avoiding condoms made of substances other than latex or polyurethane, as they don't protect against HIV.
  • Avoiding the use of oil based lubricants (or anything with oil in it) with latex condoms, as oil can eat holes into them.
  • Using flavored condoms for oral sex only, as the sugar in the flavoring can lead to yeast infections if used to penetrate.
  • Withdrawing the penis soon after ejaculation while the condom is still firmly in place and removing the condom only when you have completely withdrawn from your partner.
  • Using a new condom every time you have sexual intercourse. Never use the same condom twice, whether or not you have ejaculated into it.