A study on contraceptive use by the World Health Organisation found that whilst condoms are typically more than 98% effective in preventing pregnancy and STIs, in practice, this was more like 85% due to improper use.
To help you avoid this, we’ve put together ten common errors you can avoid when using condoms to ensure maximum protection.
1. Incorrect Storage
Condoms should always we kept in storage conditions in accordance with the packaging.
Typically it’s recommended to keep condoms in an area that is:
- Out of direct sunlight
You also want to ensure they’re easily accessible so the classic bedside drawer works on multiple levels.
2. Not Applying Immediately
If you don’t wear a condom from the very start of having intercourse (I.e. before you start) then your level of protection decreases significantly.
3. Reusing Condoms
Hard to believe but studies found that 1.4 – 3.3% of people had used the same condom more than once during sex.
Condoms should always only be used once as using twice dramatically increases the chances of breakage and pregnancy.
4. Removing During Use
It goes without saying that the risk of pregnancy reduces if you actually keep the condom on during the whole time you’re having sex!
Studies found that 14-45% of people had removed the condom before sex was over.
5. Unrolling First
Between 2-25% of people were found to be completely unrolling condoms before application.
Spafe recommends following condom manufacturer instructions which will typically recommend placing the unrolled condom on the tip of the penis, squeezing out the air and unrolling down the penis shaft.
See our guide on how to put on a condom for more information.
6. Reusing Inside Out
Studies found that 4-30% of people had used a condom twice by turning it inside out for a second use.
I mean…wow, ok. Don’t do this!
7. Not Leaving Space in Tip
It’s important to leave space in the tip of the condom for ejaculate to collect.
Studies found that between 24-46% of people failed to do this. Not leaving space in the tip could lead to breakage and leakage due to the pressure that occurs.
8. Not Removing Air
Similarly, 42% of men were found to have not squeezed the air from the tip of the condom.
Whilst on first impression it may feel logical to leave an area for ejaculate to collect, the air will actually prevent this from happening and will force the pressure back to the penis which can be uncomfortable.
Surprisingly, 48.1% of women were found to make the same mistake more often.
9. No or Wrong Lubrication
Lubrication is a great way to ease matters along.
16-26% of people were found to have used condoms without lubrication which is OK as lubrication isn’t always necessary.
However, it is important to use the right type of lubricant.
Studies found 4% of people use oil-based lubricants rather than water-based.
Oil-based lubricants are not recommended as they can degrade latex condoms.
10. Incorrect Withdrawal
31% of men and 27% of women were found to not be quickly or correctly withdrawing after ejaculate.
Always follow manufacturer instructions on how to correctly use condoms.