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Preventing Condom Failure: Breakage, Slippage and Leakage

By HERWriter
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prevent condom failure: avoid breaking, slipping and leaking Serghei Velusceac/PhotoSpin

According to the National Survey of Sexual Health and Behavior, only 45 percent of men between the ages of 18 and 24 used a condom with their last sexual partner. Also the survey found that as age increases condom use decreases. For example, only 29.3 percent of men ages 25-34 used condoms and 21.3 percent of men ages 35-44 did so.

On a personal note, one of my biggest fears from high school and into my early thirties was becoming pregnant. My biggest fear was condom failure. Due to a pre-existing health condition, I am unable to take the pill, so condoms were my main source of birth control. I always backed up condoms with a sponge or spermicidal lubricant.

I would buy condoms and keep them in a drawer by my nightstand. My goal was protection not promiscuity.

Over 20 years of using condoms, I experienced condom failure three or four times. While my initial reaction was to go into panic mode, I had to take a deep breath, find my center and take measures to prevent future breakage, slippage and or leakage.

Condoms are one of the best and safest types of birth control. Still it's important to remember that, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, "male latex condoms can reduce (but do not eliminate) the risk of SDT transmission."

Here is some vital information to keep in mind when using a condom:

• Only use a condom once.

• Check the expiration date and check for possible damage. Look for any flaws in the wrapper. Check the condom while putting it on.

• The value of double bagging (wearing more than one condom) is a myth. It is ineffective and can cause condoms to break.

• Store the condoms correctly. Avoid storing them in direct sunlight or potential hot spots like your car or wallet. The heat can degrade the latex.

• Do not use an oil-based lube with a latex condom. That weakens the latex, which can make it prone to breakage.

• Avoid exposure to sharp objects. Watch your nails and jewelry, ladies. A condom isn’t bulletproof.

Also, University of Indiana researchers compiled more than 16 years of data and found the following mishaps might result in condom failure:

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We value and respect our HERWriters' experiences, but everyone is different. Many of our writers are speaking from personal experience, and what's worked for them may not work for you. Their articles are not a substitute for medical advice, although we hope you can gain knowledge from their insight.

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