You’ve read the plethora of information about practicing safe sex by using barrier-method contraceptives and have bought a pack of condoms – great! But do you know how to use them? Approximately 75% of people don’t! Which means there are a lot of unintended pregnancies that could have been prevented.
So, listen up to ensure you don’t make the following five condom mistakes.
- Putting the condom on incorrectly
Many men try and put on a condom very quickly, realise that they’ve put it on inside-out and turn it over to try and apply it correctly – big mistake! This can expose your partner to pre-ejaculatory fluids which can result in pregnancy. Always use a new condom if this happens.
- Taking the condom off too soon
This should be a no-brainer, but numerous studies have concluded that men remove the condom before you’ve finished having sex; one of the reasons being that they feel they’re losing their erection and they won’t be able to ejaculate – guess what, ejaculation can occur without an erection increasing the risk of pregnancy and transmission of STIs.
- Not removing the air from the tip
Okay, it’s well known that men don’t like to follow instructions, but when it comes to using condoms, make sure that you know how to apply them properly. One of the biggest mistakes is not removing the air from the tip of the condom. A condom has a reservoir tip – it’s the area where semen will collect after ejaculation. If there’s air in the condom, it is very likely that it will burst. Many brands illustrate the correct application on the box and on the package insert – read it!
- Damage check
It’s very simple: always check the condom packaging – and the condom itself – for damage. Keep your eyes open for ripped packaging, expiration dates and holes in the condom. If you spot anything, don’t use it.
- Incorrect storage
Once again, we know that men aren’t always fans of reading and following instructions, but in this case, make sure that you and your partner read the storage instructions carefully! It’s critical that condoms are not stored in direct sunlight or in a wallet; it will degrade the latex making it more susceptible to breaking during sex.
If you have become pregnant and wish to terminate your pregnancy, all Marie Stopes clinics offer a safe abortion service administered by medical professionals.
Not sure where to find condoms? You can get them at any of the Marie Stopes clinics in South Africa.
You can also receive contraceptives from one of our HCUs based at all three of Dr. David Kathan’s Cape Town clinics: