Q: Why do condoms break during sex – is it because they’re too small?

Q & A with Dr. Sara

Condoms usually break because they are not used properly!

Here are some practical tips to keep in mind when using condoms:

- Always check the expiration date on the condoms and use them within the recommended time.
- Pay attention that the package has not been broken because this could lead to the dryness of the condom and eventually shorten its time.
- Always take out the condom immediately before you put it on the sex toy or a penis to prevent the same effect (dryness).
- Don’t tear up condom’s pack with your teeth you might damage the condom.
- Never use a condom twice or between different forms of sex (oral, anal and vaginal). On the same note, if there is more than one partner involved, make sure you change your condom for each partner.
- Don’t wear condoms when fooling around and during foreplay, only put on before you have oral, vaginal or anal sex.
- During long courses of penetrative sex, it is wise to change the condom to lessen the chance of breakage.
- Usually condoms with extra strength are recommended for anal intercourse. They should be used with good amount of lubricant; otherwise the dryness and the fraction between the plastic and the body could rupture the condom.
- Always use condom compatible lubricant when using condoms. Using cream, oil-based lubricants and any other products will weaken the latex texture and will make it easier for the condom to break.
- Usually we recommend that men and women practice how to put a condom on. You can practice it on your partner, a dildo or even a banana so that both of you are confident and competent when the time comes to use your skills. This is a common belief that men should carry condoms and know how to use them but more and more women have realized that this is their responsibility as much as a man’s.
- During oral sex, wearing oil-based lipsticks could lessen the life of the condom.
- Some men don’t like to use condoms because they will lose their erections while reaching out to get a condom. This could be avoided by getting their partners involved, so that one can stimulate the penis and the other person puts the condom on.


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One Response to “Q: Why do condoms break during sex – is it because they’re too small?”
  1. Chris

    It is my experience that the greatest cause of condom failure (through breakage/tearing) comes from being nicked or sliced by fingernails (his or hers) inadvertently. The latex is vey thin and when it is being stretched, it is very easy to slice it with a fingernail without realizing it. There isn’t a good way to prevent this, but occasional inspection during use should help identify a tear before it is wide open.

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