How To Use Condoms (

Some STDs, like genital herpes or HPV, can cause STDs in areas of the genitals NOT covered by a latex condom. Using a latex condom still gives the best protection against STDs for a person who is sexually active. The only way to be 100 percent sure of not getting an STD is not to have sex.

Condoms—Dos and Don'ts


  • DO use only latex or polyurethane (plastic) condoms.
  • DO keep condoms in a cool, dry place.
  • DO put the condom on an erect (hard) penis before there is any contact with a partner's genitals.
  • DO use plenty of water-based lubricant (like KY Jelly® or Astroglide®) with latex condoms. This reduces friction (dry rubbing) and helps prevent the condom from tearing.
  • DO squeeze the air out of the tip of the condom when rolling it over the erect penis. This allows room for the ejaculate (cum).
  • DO hold the condom in place at the base of the penis before withdrawing (pulling out) after sex.
  • DO throw the condom away after it's been used.


  • DON'T touch the wrong side of the condom to the penis, then flip it to the right side. This can transfer sperm and/or STIs.
  • DON'T use out of date condoms. Check the expiration date carefully. Old condoms can be dry, brittle or weakened and can break more easily.
  • DON'T unroll the condom before putting it on the erect penis.
  • DON'T leave condoms in hot places-like your wallet or in your car.
  • DON'T use oil-based products, like baby or cooking oils, hand lotion or petroleum jelly (like Vaseline®) as lubricants with latex condoms. The oil weakens latex and can cause condoms to break.
  • DON'T use your fingernails or teeth when opening a condom wrapper. It's very easy to tear the condom inside. If you do tear a condom while opening the wrapper, throw that condom away and get a new one.
  • DON'T reuse a condom. Always use a new condom for each kind of sex you have.

Learn the right way to use a condom. See ASHA's condom animation that includes dos and don'ts about correct condom use.

Top 10 Reasons to Use a Latex Condom:

Latex condoms give you control over your body and can help protect your health.

You don't need a prescription to buy condoms.

Latex condoms don't cost a lot of money or are free at some clinics and health departments.

Latex condoms are easy to find in supermarkets, drug stores and all sorts of other stores.

You don't need your parents' permission to buy condoms.

Using latex condoms can help a male partner last longer before ejaculating (coming).

Men and women can buy and use latex condoms whenever they need them.

Using condoms helps prevent unplanned pregnancy.

Using condoms helps prevent the spread of most STIs from one partner to another.

and the NUMBER ONE reason for using a latex condom is:

Using latex condoms shows you care about your sexual health and about your partner


The Female Condom-Really?
This polyurethane (plastic) pocket fits inside the vagina and can be inserted up to eight hours before sex. Some women love the female condom because it gives them control over their body even if their partner doesn't want to use a male condom. Other women (and men) like the roominess of the pocket and think the polyurethane (plastic) feels better than latex. Also, some people are allergic to latex, so these polyurethane (plastic) condoms may work better for them.

Who Should Bring the Condoms?
If you are planning to have sex it's up to you to bring the condoms! It doesn't matter if you are male or female, it's important to take responsibility for your own sexual health-and using latex condoms the right way every time you have sex is a great way to do that!

If YOU remember the condoms, it doesn't matter if your partner forgot! It takes away the excuse for not using them and gives YOU the power and control over your own body. But most of all, it shows that you care about your sexual health—and theirs.

Think you know about condoms? Take the condom quiz and find out!

Here’s another site you can visit to learn more about condoms – and have a little fun:

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