A condom will protect you and your partner during vaginal, anal and oral sex. Put on a new condom if moving from one type of sex to another to avoid cross infection. Using two condoms at the same time can cause them to break — one is enough! Using water-based lubricants makes condoms more comfortable and sex more enjoyable — but avoid oil-based lubricants with latex condoms as they can weaken or break them.
Using condoms consistently and correctly will help protect you from the risks of sexually transmitted infections STIs , including HIV, so you can have more enjoyable sex. They will also protect you from unplanned pregnancy during vaginal sex. Here you can find out how to use a male condom correctly and what to do if something goes wrong.
You might also want to take a look at our female condom page for more information on how to use those. What is a condom? The most popular and common type of condom is made from a thin latex rubber. How do condoms work? When should I use a condom? An out of date condom is more likely to break. There's usually an arrow on the packet to guide you in the direction you should open it. Avoid using your teeth or scissors and be careful with sharp fingernails or jewellery.
The penis needs to be erect before the condom is put on. Condoms come rolled up. Place one on top of the erect penis and pinch the teat at the end of the condom before you start to roll it down the penis. Roll the condom down to the base of the penis. If it's on correctly it will roll downwards easily. How to remove a condom Only take the condom off when the penis has been withdrawn completely but while the penis is still erect. This is important because several different infections can be passed on from the anus to the vagina or mouth.
Top tips for using a condom Make it part of the fun Make putting on a condom a fun part of foreplay — keep touching and kissing as you put it on — you can also get your partner to put it on for you. This can help you to feel more at ease when the time comes and get you used to the feel of the condom.
Love your lube it makes using condoms feel more comfortable and increases pleasure during sex it reduces the risk of the condom breaking, especially during anal sex Try putting lubricant on the outside of the condom or inside and around the vagina or anus. And remember to only use a water-based lubricant designed for sex. Oil-based lubricants such as vaseline, massage oils or hand cream may weaken or break latex condoms. Size matters Condom sizes vary.
A well-fitting condom should roll all the way down to the base of the penis and feel comfortable rather than really tight. Keep in mind that, just like when you buy clothes, you might need a different size in different brands of condoms. Try different textures and flavours The good news is that there are a huge variety of condoms available.
You have a choice of textures ribs or bumps can increase sensation for both partners , thickness, flavours which can make oral sex more fun and colours — so try different options and find out which ones turn you and your partner on. Female condoms are also latex-free, so you could try those instead. What should I do if a condom breaks? But if a condom does split, break or slip off there are a few simple things you can do: This is because different STIs will become detectable at different times after infection.
What should I do if a condom breaks and my partner is HIV-positive? Your HIV positive partner will be able to tell you if they are on regular treatment and have been virally suppressed for at least the last six months. If this is the case, the risk of HIV transmission if a condom breaks is extremely unlikely.
You may however both still decide to get tested for other STIs. You may be offered post-exposure prophylaxis PEP treatment. PEP is a powerful drug that has side effects and it's not an option available to everyone. How can I talk about condoms with my partner? Some people feel embarrassed bringing up the subject of using condoms, especially in the early stages of a relationship. But protecting yourself and your partner should be a priority for both of you.
Knowing you are safe should help you both feel more at ease and mean you can get on with just enjoying sex. Photos are used for illustrative purposes. They do not imply any health status or behaviour on the part of the people in the photo.