Currently we can find a wide variety of protection methods to enjoy our sexual relations. But the only method with which it is possible to avoid an unwanted pregnancy if you have heterosexual relations and prevent the spread of an STI in any type of sexual encounter, is the condom.

However, to enjoy these advantages during sex, it is important that we know how to put it on correctly, since if it breaks we will be left unprotected. But how do you know if the condom broke?

To prevent condom breakage, we not only have to know how to use it correctly, but it is also important to understand how a condom breaks so that we can avoid all the circumstances that may increase the risk of this happening. However, if we suspect that it may have deteriorated during sex, it will be essential to know how to check that the condom has not broken. At Durex we will explain how to do it and the preventive measures that you should follow if this situation has finally occurred.

Check that the condom has not broken step by step

The condom is the only method that protects us both from an unwanted pregnancy, with 98% efficacy, and from sexually transmitted infections, since using it reduces the risk of contracting an STI between 80 and 90%. But all of these benefits can be compromised the moment a break occurs. If you suspect that this has happened, it is important to follow these steps to   find out if the condom has broken:

Step 1: Check the condom 

In many cases, you can tell if the condom has broken or not just by looking at it, since tears can be obvious.

However, visual inspection is sometimes misleading, as a condom may be covered with fluid on the outside due to, for example, vaginal discharge or the use of lubricants. If you can’t see that the condom hasn’t broken with the naked eye, continue reading step 2.

Step 2: Tie a knot

If the previous step has not been very enlightening, then the first thing you should do is tie the condom to check later if it has broken or not. It is important that when you tie the knot you leave a little air inside the condom to check its condition, or that you add a little water to confirm if there are any leaks.

In addition, you should also be very careful when tying the knot, since you could tear the latex with your nails and break it at that moment.

Step 3: Finally check if the condom is broken or not 

Once we have correctly tied the knot, we will have to take the condom with two fingers and move the air that we had left inside it downwards.

If during this process you notice that a drop escapes from the inside of the condom, this means that it has broken during sex. When you’re done checking the condom, throw it away.

A condom is a method of protection with a high level of safety and efficacy and many of the breaks that occur during sex are usually caused by improper use. For this reason, it is very important to know how to put on the condom properly, as this will prevent this type of situation from occurring.

What to do when the condom breaks?

Once it has been verified that the condom broke during sex, it is advisable to follow some recommendations that we will explain below.

Measures to prevent an unwanted pregnancy

If this is the case, to avoid an unwanted pregnancy after a risky heterosexual relationship, such as a broken condom, the most effective preventive measure is taking the morning-after pill or emergency pill, which is it should be taken as soon as possible for maximum effectiveness, preferably within the first 24 hours after the sexual encounter in which the condom broke and up to 72 hours thereafter.

It is important to note that this method is preventative, but it is not 100% effective. In addition, it is essential to consider that it should not be used as a regular contraceptive method and that it is not an abortifacient either, so it will have no effect if a pregnancy has already occurred.

In Spain this pill is for sale in any pharmacy without the need for a prescription. Reading the instructions on the package insert carefully is very important to ensure that you are using this emergency method correctly.

Measures to prevent a sexually transmitted disease

If your condom has broken and you think you are at risk of contracting a sexually transmitted infection, or if you have been with a partner or partners who have a sexually transmitted infection, it is important that you go to a health center to be assigned the most appropriate treatment for this type of case.

The medical staff will inform you of the treatments that you can access to reduce the risk of contagion of a sexually transmitted infection, but it is advisable to go as soon as possible. 

How to prevent the condom from breaking 

Understanding how a condom breaks is essential to prevent it from happening, since in most cases the condom material deteriorates due to incorrect use. 

To prevent a condom from breaking, it is important to follow these recommendations:

  • Do not open the condom with your teeth or with scissors or sharp objects. The Durex range of condoms have a small guide on the packaging so you can open them easily and safely. 
  • Never use two condoms together. Instead of getting double protection you will generate friction, which can cause the condom to break. 
  • Do not use an expired condom as there is a greater risk of it breaking. Once the condom has reached its expiration date you should throw it away. In our article When do condoms expire we explain how to identify this date,
  • Forget keeping your condoms in your wallet or the glove compartment of the car. This type of hot environment and changes in temperature can end up deteriorating the condom and making it easier to break. 
  • During anal sex, don’t forget the lubricant. Although our condoms come lubricated, for these types of encounters it is advisable to use additional lubrication to prevent friction from damaging the condom. Do you want to know more? Check out our article Anal sex: what you need to know.

Take into account all these measures to prevent the condom from breaking and, if you suspect that it has happened, do not hesitate to verify it immediately. Better to be certain to take the appropriate preventive measures, than to remain in doubt.

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