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Used correctly, male condoms can be up to 98% effective at preventing pregnancy. In order to maximize their effectiveness, make sure to avoid these five common mistakes when using a condom.
Using a condom that is the wrong size
Condoms come in different sizes, so you and your partner should find a well-fitting condom before engaging in sexual activity. If the condom is too big, you risk it slipping off during sex. If the condom is too small, it may tear due to being stretched beyond its capacity.
Putting a condom on after sex has started
A condom should be put on before you have sex. You should not put on a condom just before ejaculation, because that still exposes your partner to STI transmission and possible pregnancy from pre-cum.
Condoms should always be changed after each sex act. Reusing condoms may cause them to tear during sex. Additionally, switching between different types of sex, such as from anal to vaginal sex, can introduce bacteria into the vagina and cause an infection.
Storing your condoms improperly
Condoms should be stored away from direct sunlight, heat, and humidity. You should also never bend condoms––meaning pockets and wallets are not a good space to store condoms. Additionally, always check the expiry date before using a condom, as an expired condom will not properly prevent pregnancy or STI transmission.
Using oil-based lubricants with latex condoms
If you are using latex condoms, you should stay away from any lubricants that contain oil, including lotion and vaseline. This may damage your condom and cause it to break. With latex condoms, always opt for water-based lubricants instead.
Other forms of protection: birth control pills
There are many types and brands of birth control pills to choose from which can help add an extra layer of protection if you’re looking to prevent pregnancy, and we are here to help! If you have any questions, our medical team is available to help you navigate the process of starting birth control pills or discussing contraceptive options. You can book a teleconsultation with one of our licensed physicians, download our app to learn from other women’s experiences with birth control, or visit our blog to learn more about different birth control options.