Using condoms correctly is crucial to prevent unprotected sex. Avoiding common condom mistakes ensures both pleasure and safety during intimate moments. Understanding these pitfalls can help avoid the risks associated with unprotected sex, such as unwanted pregnancies and sexually transmitted diseases (STDs). Condoms are a widely recognized and effective method for preventing these issues, but using them incorrectly can lead to complications.
To shed light on common condom mistakes and essential checks before their use, Health Shots reached out to Dr. Swati Gaikwad, Consultant Obstetrician and Gynaecologist at Motherhood Hospital in Pune. Her insights highlight the importance of proper condom use for sexual health and safety.
Here are 7 mistakes to avoid when using condoms:
1. Check that the packaging is correctOne of the primary errors individuals can make concerning condoms is neglecting to inspect their packaging. Dr. Gaikwad highlights the importance of assessing the condom packaging before purchase. "It's crucial to ensure the condom is appropriately sealed and devoid of any damage," she advises. Should the condom packaging appear open, discolored, brittle, or exhibit any holes, it's advisable to refrain from using it. Furthermore, if the condom feels dry, rough, or adhesive, it's best to discard it and opt for a new one. Dr. Gaikwad also cautions against using teeth or nails to open the condom package.
2. Check expiration dateAfter examining the condom package for any signs of damage, it's crucial not to overlook checking the expiry date. Dr. Gaikwad stresses the importance, stating, “Similar to medicines and other products, it's essential to verify the expiry date before purchasing a condom.” It's advisable to avoid buying condoms that are past their expiration date and to always review the expiry date printed on the back of the condom package. While it might disrupt the moment, checking these details just before or during intercourse is vital. Therefore, once both checks are done, ensure to keep a condom in the bedside drawer.
Using an expired condom can heighten the risk of pregnancy and sexually transmitted diseases (STDs), diminishing the effectiveness of the condom.
3. Check for latex condoms
Did you know that latex condoms made from natural rubber are effective in preventing sexually transmitted infections and unplanned pregnancies? Hence, they are a good choice. Nevertheless, if you or your partner have a latex allergy, there are several alternative options to consider. You can explore condoms made from materials like lamb intestinal lining, polyurethane, or lambskin.
It's crucial to note that when using latex condoms, avoid using oil-based lubricants as they can degrade the latex material. Instead, opt for water-based lubricants to ensure their effectiveness.
4. Check how to store the condom properlyDid you know that condoms should be stored in a cool, dry place, away from direct sunlight, heat, and moisture? It's recommended to keep them in purses, backpacks, or drawers. Avoid storing them in wallets or clothing pockets, as such environments can degrade the latex material of the condoms.
5. Check about the usageDo you think it's okay to reuse a condom? Ladies, it's essential not to make this mistake. Dr. Gaikwad strongly advises against reusing a condom as it can break. It's a strict rule not to use a condom that has already been opened. Ensure to use a new condom every time you engage in sexual activity and encourage your partner to do the same!
6. Check regarding how to open the condom properly
This advice is particularly important for your partner. Encourage your partner that if they accidentally unroll the condom in the wrong direction, it's crucial to discard it and use a new one. Dr. Gaikwad advises, "When opening a condom, push it to the side before tearing the packaging. This prevents damaging the condom before use." Additionally, be cautious about long fingernails, as they can damage the condom during opening.
Furthermore, remember to squeeze out any air from the tip before use to prevent potential damage during intercourse.
7. Check for proper usageIf the condom is incorrectly placed by your partner, it's essential to remove it and replace it with a new one. To ensure proper condom use and reduce risks, guide your partner on the correct way to wear it.
Steps to wear it correctly:
* Open and carefully remove the condom from the wrapper.
* Place it on an erect penis before engaging in sexual intercourse.
* Pinch the tip of the condom to expel any trapped air.
* Unroll the condom all the way down the penis.
To remove it:
* Hold the base of the condom and gently pull it out.
* Dispose of the used condom by carefully placing it in the trash.