Using Condoms

  • Check the expiry date and that the label says it meets Australian standards (novelty condoms may not meet Australian standards).
  • Store condoms in a cool place. It is not a good idea to leave condoms in a car. If you do keep condoms in your wallet or purse, make sure you regularly replace them.
  • Find a condom brand and size that is comfortable for you.
  • Unwrap the condom from the packet but be careful not to tear the condom. Don't unroll the condom until it's on the penis.
  • To roll the condom on, make sure the penis is erect. Make sure the condom is the right way. Squeeze the teat of the condom to remove the air bubble and then roll the condom to the base of the penis. If uncircumcised, pull back the foreskin.
  • Apply a water based lubricant to the outside of the condom to increase pleasure and to reduce the risk of the condom breaking. Oil based products can weaken the condom and lead to breakage.
  • When withdrawing make sure the penis is still erect and hold the condom so that it doesn't slip off.
  • Once you have removed the condom dispose of it in a rubbish bin. Don't dispose of it down the toilet.
  • Use a condom only once. Make sure you have more than one condom available.
  • Don't put two condoms on for strength - they may tear more easily because of friction. If you want extra safety, buy extra strength.
If you think the condom has broken during sex pull out immediately and replace the condom.
If the condom broke or slipped off during sex, you might want to consider emergency contraception, PEP, or getting a sexual health-check-up.

Condoms and relationships

Often people in a relationship choose not to use condoms.
If you are in a regular relationship with another person and neither of you is having sex outside the relationship and you both have had a sexual health check-up, then not using condoms is a choice you may want to make together.
If you are not in a relationship, then there is never a completely safe time not to use condoms. You can't tell from looking at someone if they have an STI and sometimes people with STIs don't know they have them. Using a condom in these situations will protect you from HIV and unintended pregnancies, and help prevent most other STIs.
Some people think that sex will be safe if they don't use condoms but pull out before ejaculation. This is incorrect. Even before ejaculation, fluid leaks from the penis during sex. This fluid can cause pregnancy and also pass HIV and other STIs between both partners.
Current as at: Thursday 7 March 2013
Contact page owner: Centre for Population Health