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How to Use a Condom (cont.)

Condom Disposal After Sex

  • Check the condom to make sure it has no holes in it and still contains semen if there was ejaculation.
  • If the condom has broken or fallen off during sex or has leaked, discuss the possibility of pregnancy or transmitting sexually transmitted diseases (STD) with your partner. See your healthcare professional. A woman may wish to use emergency contraception (birth control pills taken to prevent pregnancy). Emergency contraception should be used within 72 hours of unprotected sex. Wash your sexual organs with soap and water right away to help reduce the risk of getting an STD. A woman may wish to insert an applicator of spermicide into her vagina as soon as possible.
  • Condoms can certainly break or fall off during use, but studies show that this rarely happens if used properly. Rates of breakage during vaginal intercourse are up to 6.7%. Breakage rates during anal sex are up to 12%.
  • Wrap the used condom in tissue or put it inside a plastic baggie and throw it in the garbage that will not be discovered by children or animals or pose a health hazard to others. Do not flush condoms down the toilet. Condoms can clog the toilet.

Storing Condoms

  • Keep condoms in a cool, dry place away from heat and sunlight, such as your bedroom night stand (not medicine cabinet). Your wallet or car is too hot for storing condoms. If you do carry a condom in your wallet for convenience, replace it often. Opening and closing your wallet, not to mention the pressure from sitting on it, will weaken the condom. However, it's better to use a condom that has been in your wallet for a long time than not to use one at all.
  • Check expiration dates on the box of condoms. You may see the package marked with “Exp,” showing the expiration date, or “MFG,” the manufacture date. Do not use condoms beyond the expiration date or more than 5 years after the manufacture date. Old condoms can become dry and break more easily. Brittle, sticky, or discolored condoms are old and may break.
Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 12/24/2015
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