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Condoms prevent unwanted pregnancy and are one of the best ways to prevent spreading sexually transmitted infections. Since condoms can fail or break, it is best to use another form of contraception to prevent getting pregnant.

There are three types of condoms; plastic, latex and natural skin. Latex condoms are most common but cannot be used in anyone allergic to latex.

Type Protects Against Material Cost
Latex Pregnancy & Sexual Transmitted Infections Natural Rubber Low
Plastic Pregnancy & Sexual Transmitted Infections Polyurethane Medium
Natural Skin Only Pregnancy Lamb Membrane Expensive

Using a Condom

  • Check the expiration date on the condom.
  • Check the outside wrapper. Do not use the condom if you find any punctures, tears, or holes.
  • Carefully open the wrapper.
  • If you have not been circumcised, pull back the foreskin.
  • Leaving 1/2 inch space at top of penis, roll the condom down to the base of the penis.
  • Make sure there are no air bubbles as this could cause the condom to break.
  • You may use water-based lubricant on the outside of the condom.

Taking Off the Condom

  • Turn away from your partner.
  • When taking off the condom, be sure to hold onto the base of the condom to prevent the semen from leaking out.
  • Condoms should be taken off before the wearer loses their erection.
  • Inspect the condom for any sign of breakage.
  • Place condom in the garbage.

If the Condom Breaks

  • The person wearing the condom should quickly pull out, take off the condom, and put on a new one.  If the condom breaks after ejaculation you can call Highland Family Planning for emergency contraception, also known as the morning after pill or Plan B.
  • Wash to get rid of any semen that may have leaked out before or during ejaculation.
  • Call (595) 279-4890 to discuss emergency contraception which may be taken by up to 3 days after unprotected intercourse to prevent pregnancy. Sooner is better.


There are some safe lubricants and some that may damage the condom.  See the table below:

Safe Lubricants
“Safe to Use”
Unsafe Lubricants
“Do Not Use”


Baby Oil

Lubricants made for condoms:

Cold Cream


Edible oils such as:

K-Y Jelly

Olive oil


Peanut oil

Wet glycerin

Corn oil


Sunflower oil


Massage oil

Silicone lubricant

Petroleum jelly


Vegetable or mineral oil


Suntan oil or lotion


Rubbing alcohol


Whipping cream


Medication for yeast infections


Vaseline (petroleum based)


Body lotion


Hand lotion

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