Condom errors that put you at risk

Tuesday, February 28, 2012
Condom errors that put you at risk

Researchers have revealed that common condom errors put users at risk of STDs and unwanted pregnancies.

The Kinsey Institute Condom Use Research Team (CURT) analysed 50 articles that have been published on condom incidents over the last 16 years.

The analysis from over 14 countries looked at a wide range of participants, from monogamous couples to sex workers and found the most common mistakes made were:

  • putting a condom on too late;
  • taking the condom off too early during sex;
  • failing to use water-based lubricants.
  • not leaving a space at the top of the condom for semen;
  • rolling the sheath on inside out; and;
  • not checking for damages.

"We chronically underestimate how complicated condom use can be," said co-author Professor Richard Crosby from the University of Kentucky.

"It involves the use of a condom while negotiating the condom use and sex with a partner all at the same time."

Breakages and leaks were common problems associated with sex. The results revealed up to 40 percent had experienced a condom break, while up to 19 percent had experienced one leak.

Professor Crosby said the study highlighted the need for better education and instructions.

The findings were published in the journal Sexual Health.

The correct use of a condom
Family Planning advises:

  • always use a lubricated condom;
  • if additional lubrication is needed, use a water-based one only such as KY Jelly, Lubafax or Muco (oil-based lubricants such as Vaseline can weaken the latex);
  • check the use-by date. Never use a condom with an expired date of use;
  • do not unroll the condom before putting it on the erect penis as you may damage the condom;
  • before putting the condom on the penis hold the teat of the condom between the finger and thumb to expel any excess air;
  • unroll the condom onto the penis before intercourse;
  • After ejaculation, hold the base of the condom while withdrawing the penis to prevent leakage of semen;
  • make sure there is no genital contact after the condom is removed; and,
  • dispose of the condom properly. Do not throw it down the toilet or into the street.

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