Condoms are most effective if you
follow these steps:
Use a new condom each time you have sexual
When opening the condom wrapper, be careful not to
poke a hole in the condom with your fingernails, teeth, or other sharp
Put the condom on as soon as your penis is hard (erect)
and before any sexual contact with your partner.
Before putting it
on, hold the tip of the condom and squeeze out the air to leave room for the
semen after ejaculation.
If you aren't circumcised, pull down the
loose skin from the head of the penis (foreskin) before putting on the
While continuing to hold on to the tip of the condom, unroll
it all the way down to the base of your penis.
If you are also using the condom as birth
control, make sure your partner uses a
spermicide according to the manufacturer's
instructions. (Although the use of a spermicide increases the effectiveness of
a condom as birth control, the use of a spermicide may increase the risk for
If you want to use a lubricant, never use
petroleum jelly (such as Vaseline), grease, hand lotion, baby oil, or anything
with oil in it (read the label). Oil (or petroleum) can weaken the condom,
increasing the chance that it may break. Instead, use a personal lubricant such
as Astroglide or K-Y Jelly.
After ejaculation, hold on to the condom
at the base of your penis and withdraw from your partner while your penis is
still erect. This will keep semen from spilling out of the
Wash your hands after handling a used condom.
What do you need to know about buying and storing male condoms?
Buy condoms that meet safety standards.
Condoms are made of latex (rubber), polyurethane, or sheep
intestine. While latex and polyurethane condoms help prevent the spread of
STIs such as HIV, sheep intestine condoms don't.
Keep the condom wrapped in its original package until you are
ready to use it. Store it in a cool, dry place out of direct sunlight. Check the
expiration date on the package before using.
Don't keep rubber
(latex) condoms in a glove compartment or other hot places for a long time.
Heat weakens latex and increases the chance that the condom will
Don't use condoms in damaged packages or condoms that show
obvious signs of deterioration, such as brittleness, stickiness, or
discoloration, regardless of their expiration date.