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Condoms are a great way to protect yourself. They are  one of the most common forms of birth control, and the most known way to prevent against sexually transmitted infections (STIs). Not only do they come in many colors, flavors, and sizes, they can be used for vaginal, oral, or anal sex. Using a condom correctly every time you have sex is the only way to reduce your risk of both pregnancy and STIs. In fact, when used correctly and consistently, condoms can be up to 98% effective at preventing pregnancy.

So, how do you correctly and consistently use a condom? Planned Parenthood League of Massachusetts has ten effective simple steps to condom use. These ten steps will lead you to correctly using a condom, so you can feel safer when having sex:

Step One: Talk with your partner about the decision to have sex and the different protection options.

It is important that both partners are on the same page when it comes to consenting to sex and using protection.

Step Two: Check the expiration date on the package and look for any holes, tears, or signs of damage.

If the packaging of the condom is damaged, or the condom itself is expired, the condom may not be safe to use. Using a damaged or expired condom can increase the chance of pregnancy or a STI.

Step Three: Carefully open the package and remove the condom.

Open the packaging carefully with your hands, not teeth or scissors, to avoid breaking the condom.

Step Four: Wait for the penis to become erect. Then, place the condom on the head of the penis and hold the tip of the condom to squeeze out any air.

Make sure the penis is erect before you begin to put the condom on. Make sure there is no air at the tip of the condom so it fits properly on the penis.

Step Five: Roll the condom down to cover the entire penis.

Rolling the condom down the entire penis helps to ensure that both partners will be protected against STIs, and that no fluid can spill out of the condom.

Step Six: Use lubricant. Have vaginal, oral, or anal sex.

The most common way a condom can break is by the friction caused during sex. So, make sure to use lube to lessen the friction while having sex. Using lube can also increase pleasure!

Step Seven: Keep the condom on the penis until you’re done having sex, whether or not ejaculation occurs.

Make sure you do not take the condom off until you’re done having sex to make sure you are always protected against STIs and pregnancy.

Step Eight: Hold onto the rim of the condoms at the base of the penis. Then, withdraw the penis.

Holding the rim of the penis when withdrawing ensures that no fluid will spill out of the condom.

Step Nine: Carefully take the condom off of the penis and throw it in the garbage.

When taking the condom off, make sure you hold the rim tightly so  the fluid in the condom does not spill out.

Step Ten: Use a new condom if both partners want to have sex again.

Make sure to use a new condom each time you have sex, whether or not ejaculation occurs. Repeating the process, and using a new condom, ensures that both partners are protected against pregnancy and STIs.  


For more information on condoms and condom usage visit pplm.org/condoms