Condom Guide

Condoms can help protect against sexually transmitted infections and HIV. 

They need to be used correctly and the use of lube with a condom is recommended. This can prevent slippage of the condom (that may cause seepage or bursting), they can also make sex more comfortable and prevent bruising and tears/abrasions that may make infection more likely.

Key points about condoms:

  • Always put the condom on before you start to have penetrative sex.
  • Never use two condoms together or a condom more than once.
  • Never use a condom that has damaged packaging.
  • Always remember to check the best before date on the condom - invest in a new condom if you are not sure.
  • Oral sex using a condom can protect against many STI's - try using flavoured condoms for variety.
  • Condoms come in all shapes, sizes, colours, flavours and scents – so experiment to find one that works for you.
  • Condoms can be used with sensation enhancing lubrication to enhance pleasure.

How to use condoms

You will find instructions on the condom packet or in a leaflet inside the pack. You can also ask your doctor, nurse or pharmacist.

  1. Use a new condom each time you have sex and always check the ‘use by’ date on the packet. Be careful how you take the condom out of the packet – sharp fingernails and jewellery can tear the condom.
  2. Find the teat or closed end and squeeze it to get rid of air. This will also help you roll the condom on the right way round.
  3. Put the condom on when the penis is fully erect and before it touches the vagina or genital area.
  4. Still holding the end, roll the condom all the way down the penis. If it won’t roll down then it’s probably on inside out. If so, start again with a new condom as sperm could now be on the first one.
  • If you have foreskin, you may find it easier and more comfortable to put the condom on if the foreskin is pulled back. This lets the foreskin move freely and reduces the risk of the condom tearing or slipping off.
  • As soon as the man has ejaculated, and before the penis goes soft, hold the condom firmly in place while pulling out. Do this slowly and carefully so you do not spill any semen (the ejaculation fluid that contains sperm).
  • Take off the condom, wrap it and put it in a bin. Do not put it down the toilet.Make sure the penis does not touch the genital area again, and if you have sex again, use a new condom.
Midlands Partnership Foundation NHS Trust Providing Sexual Health Services in Leicester, Leicestershire and Rutland. Services commissioned by Leicester City and Leicestershire and Rutland County Councils.

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