By Dr. Poosha Darbha, Sexology
Avoid these condom mistakes:
Condoms, when used carefully, correctly and consistently, offer nearly 98% protection from HIV and pregnancy. However, in practice, they are only about 85% effective due to errors in usage. Most condoms fail because of user error, but not due to faulty condoms. Here are some tips for proper use of condom.
• Don’t put the condom on the wrong way. Take time to learn how to put it on correctly well before you plan to use it.
• Make sure you use the right-size condom. Regular size fits well for most men, yet check that the one you bought is not too large, not too long nor too short. Try out different condoms to understand what is best for you.
• Don’t do it in a hurry, especially when the heat is on and you’re eager to insert, else you may end up putting it on inside out or without pressing the air out of the tip of the condom. The latter act may lead to condom-burst during coitus.
• Use latex condoms. If you or your partner need the condom to be lubricated, use only water based lubricants like KY Jelly, Astroglide or even water or saliva, but not oils.
• Using 2 male condoms - one over the other – or a male condom and a female condom together – does not lend double protection or double pleasure. The chances of one of them breaking are high due to friction between them.
• Never re-use the condom. Put on a new one every time you have penetrative sex, whether vaginal, anal or oral.
• Before putting the condom on, pinch the tip of the condom between your thumb and index finger and put it on while you hold the fingers.
• Don’t pull it too snugly to let the tip of the penis touch the end of the condom. (The tip you pinched will catch the semen and prevent the condom from breaking).
• Uncircumcised men should pull their foreskin back before putting on the condom.
• Take care while withdrawing the condom. Hold on tight to the condom at the rim and pull out slowly while the penis is still hard. This will prevent semen spillage.
• Condoms cannot protect you from every STD, such as genital warts, syphilis or herpes in cases where an open sore or wart at the base of the penis cannot be adequately covered by a condom and skin-to-skin contact between partners occurs.