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What should you do when a condom breaks?

Condoms go through stringent testing and quality control to ensure that they will serve their purpose, which is to prevent unwanted pregnancies or sexually transmitted infections (STIs). 

Although rare, condoms can still break. One of the many reasons why this happens is improper use or improper storage, such as putting it in a wallet.

So, what should you do when you’re in the middle of a steamy action and noticed that the condom you’re using broke?

First: Stop having sex and assess the situation

If you happen to notice that the condom you’re using broke during intercourse, you should stop immediately and withdraw your penis from your partner.

Check if there is any ejaculate. If there is none, you may replace the condom with a new one and continue your moment. If there is, you should stop and wash your body up with warm water and splash your genitals to help you clean any lingering ejaculate.

There’s also a possibility that some live sperm are mixed with your pre-cum (the white/clear liquid that your penis secretes to help lubrication). Though chances are low, it can still cause pregnancy.

Second: Talk to your healthcare provider about emergency contraception

If you’re worried about getting your partner pregnant after knowing that the condom broke during sex, you might want to talk to them about emergency contraception.

The Yuzpe Method is when a woman takes 4 combined oral contraceptive pills as soon as possible after sex, and will take 4 more after 12 hours. It’s still effective up to 72 hours after the intercourse. Consult your healthcare provider together to know more about this method.

You can read more about this method here: https://doitright.ph/emergency-contraception/

Third: Get tested for STI

It you’re a sexually active man with multiple partners, you might want to get tested for sexually transmitted infections (STIs), especially if you’ve done it with a partner whose sexual history you don’t know much about. Though it’s not necessary for men who are in a monogamous relationship, it’s still best for them and their partners to get tested.

Most couples are unaware that they have STI as most don’t show symptoms early. If the infection is found and treated immediately, serious problems can be avoided.

Fourth: Avoiding it in the future

Though there’s no surefire way to completely remove the risk of condoms being broken, there are a few ways that can reduce this risk. Here are some of them:

  • Avoid using sharp objects in opening the condom (scissors, teeth)
  • Check the expiration date
  • Don’t store it in wallets, in extremely cold or hot rooms, or near direct sunlight
  • Don’t use oil-based lubricant

You can learn more about the reasons why condoms break here. You can also check out the proper use of condoms here.

Sources: 

https://kidshealth.org/en/teens/breakage.html

https://www.healthline.com/health/healthy-sex/condom-broke

https://www.healthline.com/health/healthy-sex/can-you-get-pregnant-from-precum#does-pre–cum-have-sperm?

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