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Condoms – How to use correctly

A condom is a thin sheath or “skin” of latex or polyurethane fitted over the erect penis to prevent the escape of ejaculated semen during vaginal, oral, or anal intercourse or manual foreplay. Condoms are available in various shapes, colors, flavors and speciality condoms which have pleasure ribs, bumps, and reservoir tips. Non-lubricated or flavored condoms should be used during oral sex to protect against STD’s.

The condom is 85-98% effective as a method of contraception. Condoms should always be used in combination with a vaginal spermicide in the form of:

  • creams
  • foams
  • jellies
  • suppositories
  • sponges
  • vaginal spermicides
  • All of these can be found at most pharmacies or online


  • have expiry dates
  • must be kept away from heat
  • should have an air bubble in the package, so if the condom is flat, cracked or dried out throw it out
  • should be used only once and then thrown away responsibly
  • should not be used with oil-based lubricants such as petroleum jelly, baby oil or hand lotion but lubricants like KY Jelly can be used.
  • should always be made out of latex

STD’s can be passed during vaginal, oral and anal sex. If you are using a condom for oral sex, you may prefer to use a non-lubricated or flavored condom. A condom can be cut to form a latex square for use as a barrier during cunnilingus or during oral-anal contact, or you can purchase barrier caps already made. If a condom breaks, immediate withdrawal is recommended. A new condom can then be used. To reduce the risk of pregnancy, a woman can immediately insert two applications of spermicide into the vagina.

Follow the steps below when first using a condom:

  • Condoms come ready-rolled and most end in a teat which catches the semen.
  • Take the fresh condom out of the packet carefully and avoid tearing it on fingernails or jewelry
  • Expel the air from the teat at the tip of the condom by squeezing it
  • Place the opening of the condom on the head of the penis
  • Unroll it down the shaft so that it fits comfortably onto the erect penis (do not try putting it on unless you have an erection)
  • When fully unrolled the condom should extend almost to the base of the penis and fit snugly like a second skin
  • Make sure the condom is placed on the erect penis before it contacts any mucous membranes or genitalia


The following steps should be taken for correct disposal of the condom after sexual intercourse:

  • After ejaculation the condom should be removed carefully to prevent the semen from spilling out
  • The man withdraws his penis from the woman’s vagina while holding the condom securely to the penis so it does not come off
  • The condom is removed and disposed of properly by wrapping it in paper or tissue and placing in a bin
  • Care must always be taken that any semen left on the penis does not get transferred to the woman’s vagina, especially from the fingers
  • If the condom tears or comes off during vaginal intercourse foam should be inserted immediately and the Morning After Pill should be considered
  • Never try to reuse a condom

Diaphragms or the Pill should be used for maximum protection against pregnancy. These are intended to block the cervix and kill sperm, but effectiveness varies greatly.

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