Condoms are an accessible, convenient and easy method of birth control. Available in latex, polyurethane and natural lambskin varieties, condoms come in various sizes and styles. With proper use, condoms are quite effective, with only a 2 percent failure rate. Actual use failure rates are closer to 15 percent, according to Contracept.org. Make condoms a more effective birth control option by using them correctly every time you have sex.
Choose a condom that fits. Compare sizes using a condom measurement chart to find a brand that will fit well (see Resources). Opt for a well-fitting condom to allow for adequate space in the reservoir tip and reduce the risk of slipping or breakage.
Check the expiration date on your condom. Avoid storing condoms in your back pocket, wallet or car glove box.
Open the condom package carefully to avoid puncturing or tearing the condom. Remove the condom from the package and pinch the tip. Roll the condom over the head of the erect penis and down the shaft.
Apply water-based lubricant to the outside of the condom.
Grasp the base of the penis, holding the condom into place after ejaculation. Withdraw while still erect and discard the condom in the garbage.
- Two is not better than one. Don’t double up on condoms.