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Condom FAQs

Are condoms effective?

Yes. When male condoms are used correctly during sex they give 98% protection against pregnancy and help prevent sexually transmitted infections (STIs).

People who are allergic to latex can use polyurethane condoms instead.

Are oil-based lubricants, like baby oil and petroleum jelly, safe to use with latex condoms?

No. Use only water-based lubricants with condoms. Oil-based lubricants will weaken the condom and cause it to break.

Can condoms break if the tip is not pinched to remove air bubbles?

Yes. Always pinch the tip of the condom before unrolling it.

Should a man withdraw from his partner immediately, holding onto the base of the condom?

Yes. This will prevent the condom from slipping off and possibly leaking inside his partner.

Can a condom be used several times if washed carefully?

No. Condoms can be used only once. Always use a new one even if passion strikes twice or more.

Should a man always be prepared and keep a condom in his wallet?

Yes and no. While you should be prepared, condoms kept in warm places, like a wallet or glove compartment, can weaken from the heat.

An outside coat pocket or at home in a cool, dry place are better places to keep condoms.

Do condoms have expiry dates?

Yes. Most condoms have a life of 3 to 5 years. Check for the date printed on the box or condom wrapper.

Does one size fit all?

Yes and no. While some companies make larger-sized condoms, which some men do need, a standard sized condom can be stretched over a person's skull – but it is probably safer not to check this personally. The standard size should be large enough to accommodate most men. It is just as important to make sure the condom is not too large. If this is the case with the standard size, there are "snug" sizes also available.

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WebMD Medical Reference

Medically Reviewed by Dr Rob Hicks on October 16, 2017

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