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CondomIf you are having sex and don’t want a child, don’t assume your partner is using birth control. Plan to use a reliable method, correctly, every time: a latex or plastic condom.

  • Use a latex condom for any vaginal, anal or oral sex.
  • Use polyurethane condoms if you or your partner are allergic to latex.
  • Don’t have sex if you’re drunk or high. Alcohol and other drugs can cloud your judgment and make it harder to use a condom correctly.
  • Get checked for an STI every time you have a health exam, even if you don’t have symptoms. Many people have no symptoms at all. Be aware of the signs and symptoms of an STI. If you notice a symptom, get checked.

How to use a condom:

  1. Use a new condom for every act of vaginal, anal and oral sex throughout the entire sex act (from start to finish).
  2. Before any genital contact, put the condom on the tip of the erect penis with the rolled side out.
  3. If the condom does not have a reservoir tip, pinch the tip enough to leave a half-inch space for semen to collect. Holding the tip, unroll the condom all the way to the base of the erect penis.
  4. After ejaculation and before the penis gets soft, grip the rim of the condom and carefully withdraw. Then gently pull the condom off the penis, making sure that semen doesn't spill out.
  5. Wrap the condom in a tissue and throw it in the trash where others won't handle it.
  6. If you feel the condom break at any point during sexual activity, stop immediately, withdraw, remove the broken condom, and put on a new condom.
  7. Ensure that adequate lubrication is used during vaginal and anal sex, which might require water-based lubricants. Oil-based lubricants (e.g., petroleum jelly, shortening, mineral oil, massage oils, body lotions, and cooking oil) should not be used because they can weaken latex, causing breakage.

Find out more:

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention