A condom is more likely to break if it loses its erection or slips off during sex. If this happens, withdraw and use a new condom. You can also take an emergency HIV test, if you think you may have been exposed to semen or other body fluids.
Always use a new condom after ejaculation to prevent the spread of HIV. Remove the condom by holding its base, not the tip.
Condoms come in a range of shapes, sizes, and fits. It’s important to choose the right size for your partner because it increases safety and pleasure for both partners. Using the wrong size condom can cause problems like breakage, slipping, latex allergies, and infertility. The most common condom problem is a poor fit. If a condom is too tight, it can lead to cramps and can make it difficult to insert and remove. Alternatively, if a condom is too loose, it may slip off during intercourse or get caught up on clothing or hair.
The best way to ensure a good condom fit is to measure the circumference (width) and length of the penis with a flexible measuring tape or piece of string. The measurements should be taken while the person is erect. The length measurement is taken from the base of the penis where it meets the pelvis to the tip of the penis. The width measurement is taken by wrapping the measuring tape or string around the thickest part of the shaft. Condoms are sized based on both the length and width measurements.
Once you know your size, try out different types of condoms to find what feels best. There are lots of great options available, including Durex Close Fit, regular fit, and wide fit. Also, you might want to try textured condoms that have ribs or dots for added stimulation.
Condoms can’t prevent pregnancy and sexually transmitted infections (STIs) if they aren’t used properly. This means putting them on partway through the act, taking them off before intercourse is over, or leaving air or space in them (such as when a man fails to expel his semen from the condom after ejaculation).
These errors can cause condoms to break, leak or slip during sex. It’s also important to use the right lubrication—a water-based one, which won’t degrade latex. And if you do use an oil-based lubricant, make sure you warm it up in your hands before applying.
When using a new condom, it’s a good idea to let the tip “air out” a little before putting it on the penis, so there’s room for semen. And a man should never put two condoms on at the same time. This can lead to tearing.
During sex, it’s a good idea for the man to hold the base of the condom with his fingers, and for the woman to hold the rim of the female condom. This helps the condom stay in place, even when the erection begins to wear off. And once sex is over, the male should quickly pull out the condom to avoid leaking semen into the vagina. And of course, the woman should replace the condom if she has sex after removing it.
While the condoms are in place, people can still use plenty of lubricant to enhance pleasure and increase the likelihood of a successful outcome. Lube can also reduce any discomfort, especially on the vagina or vulva or penis during sex.
A single-use internal condom is a sheath-like device that lines the vagina or anus, and it can also be used for anal sex. These are typically made from a material called polyurethane or nitrile, which are safer for people with latex allergies than the rubber used in many male condoms.
To insert an internal condom, a person should find a comfortable position and hold the sheath at its closed end with the thumb and forefinger, then squeeze the sides of the inner ring together. Push the inner ring as far up into the vagina as it will go, then guide their partner’s penis through the opening, with the thin outer ring remaining outside of the vagina. Make sure the condom is not twisted, and stop sexual activity immediately if you feel the penis slip between the internal condom and the walls of the vagina or anus.
After sex, carefully remove the condom from the vagina or anus. If you or your partner ejaculated, hold the ring of the sheath to prevent any semen from spilling (1,8). People can then re-insert the sheath, and they should continue with sexual activity for the remainder of the time available to them.
If a condom gets stuck in your vagina, you should call your gynecologist and ask to make a same-day appointment to have it removed. If you can’t wait for that, try lubricating your finger with water and fishing it out. Be sure to use a clean finger—otherwise you could spread infection, StatPearls reports. The amount of time it takes for a stuck condom to show symptoms varies, but it can be a cause of pain, itching, or even an unwanted pregnancy or STIs.
Stealthing, in which a partner secretly removes a condom during sex without telling the other person, is not a new problem but still happens often. In fact, a recent study on the topic found that 57 percent of women who experienced it reported that they didn’t know it had a name and didn’t realize that their partner was removing their protection.
Women —but also men—who have been stealthed say it violates their sexual autonomy, because they thought they had agreed to use a condom and trust their partner. Stealthing can also be dangerous for victims because it exposes them to the risk of an unwanted pregnancy or STIs, and can lead to domestic violence and abuse, according to a report from The National Sexual Violence Resource Center. A woman who has been stealthed may also feel a sense of powerlessness as she tries to get her partner to put the condom back on.