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See our tips and tricks for using condoms effectively to protect against unplanned pregnancy and STIs.
Putting on a condom can feel a bit awkward at first, but you’ll get the hang of it quite quickly. It can help to practise on your own in private first, so that you feel comfortable before you actually use it for sex.
Replace any condoms that have been in your wallet, pocket or bag longer than a month, as this might damage them. If the wrappers look damaged throw them away and get new ones.Put the condom the penis as soon as it is erect (hard), and before it goes near anyone’s mouth, vagina or anus, to help protect against unplanned pregnancy and STIs. Read more about pregnancy.Read more about STIs.
Top Tips for using lube with condoms
Don’t use products such as vaseline/baby oil/coconut oil as these should not be used with condoms because they can cause them to tear. Make sure you wash your hands before touching a condom.Avoid using spermicide lubricated condoms as these are being phased out because research has shown that a spermicide called nonoxynol 9 doesn’t protect against some STIs (and may even increase the risk).If you are having anal sex, use additional water-based lube which you can apply directly to the anus or on the outside of the condom. But be careful because too much lube can make the condom slip off.
Struggling to know how to discuss condoms? Read our guide to talking about condoms.
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