Broken condom put in a ripe banana halfway
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What should I do if the condom broke?

What do you do if you notice a tear in the condom after pulling out? Or semen leaking out? Or feel the condom break?

Accidents happen. Condoms don’t break every day but they sometimes do. If it happens, don’t panic! Follow the advice in this article to keep yourself safe.

If a condom broke, chances are that you will know. You are likely to feel it break or see the damage when you and/or your partner pull away. If you feel it break, stop having intercourse immediately and withdraw from your partner’s vagina or anus.

If it disappears into the vagina or anus, the consequences are the same as when the condom breaks; STIs and unplanned pregnancy. To prevent this, always pull out while the penis is still hard. Also, always hold the base of the penis when pulling out.

What if you realize that the condom broke after pulling out?

Here are precautions you can take:

Emergency contraception

If you are having sex with a woman, chances are that you wish to prevent pregnancy. If she is not on another form of contraception, emergency contraception is a great option. Emergency contraception – what is often call e-pills, can help prevent pregnancy. The most important thing is to act as soon as possible. The sooner you take emergency contraception, the higher your chances of preventing unwanted pregnancy.

Copper IUD can also be placed by a doctor to prevent pregnancy.

If you are having sex with a man, pregnancy should be the farthest thing from your mind. BUT, you are not off the hook either, you can still get STIs

Assess the risk of HIV exposure

PEP is a 28-day medicine taken to prevent HIV and should be started as soon as possible but within 72 hours.

If you and your partner have not tested for HIV before sex, it is important to consider going for an HIV test to confirm whether you and your partner are infected. Even if they are both negative, chances are that the health care provider will advise you to start taking Post Exposure Prophylaxis (PEP). In some cases, your sex partner may not be willing to go with you and this means that you will know their HIV status. Don’t take chances, PEP is your best bet!

It is also advisable that you and your partner get tested for STIs a few weeks after the incident. Even if you do not show any symptoms, get tested. Some STIs do not show any symptoms.

To reduce chances of condom breakage:

  • Always check the expiry date on the condom pack. Never use expired condoms
  • Always inspect condoms when putting them on. In some cases, they can break when you are putting them on due to sharp objects such as nails or zippers.
  • Do not use two condoms at once.  
  • Do not use oil-based lubricants. Vaseline is not a lubricant with or without a condom!
  • Use the right condom size. Avoid condoms that are either too big or too small since they are likely to break
  • Never ever reuse condoms.
  • Store condoms away from extreme temperatures (i.e. heat, cold) and light as they weaken the condom material thus increasing chances of breakage.

Have you ever experienced a condom break? Talk to us in the comments section.

Did you learn something new?

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