Remember the scene in Grease in which Kenickie, while making out with Rizzo, whips out a (broken) condom purchased in seventh grade? Or when Andy in 40 Year Old Virgin flusters over a dozen or so condoms? The actions of these fictional characters don’t have to be your reality! You can make informed decisions about your sexual wellness and avoid condom mishaps.

Does Size Matter?

In terms of condom fit, size does matter. The use of ill-fitting condoms can have lasting and even irreversible effects.  Snug fitting condoms on girthy penises are likely to break. Similarly, large condoms on smaller penises can slip off. Both of these situations can lead to direct genital contact, allowing for the possible transmission of Chlamydia and other STIs.

Finding the perfect fitting condom may be a matter of “trial and error”, according to PHNTX Behavioral Intervention Specialist, Alex Barron. He recommends wearers take at least one condom of each size and try them on when playing alone.  Doing so will let them “see what feels comfortable,” he says.

Are Condoms Reusable?

Unfortunately, condoms are not eco-friendly items. Just as your doctor’s latex gloves, condoms are designed for one-time use only. Don’t attempt to wash them. Soap and water will not wash away STI bacteria in the condom. Additionally, the act of washing can lead to breakage.

Condoms deteriorate after one session. If there’s ANYYY chance you and your partner may go multiple rounds, have several condoms on deck. 

Where Should I Store My Condoms?

Contrary to popular belief and practice, wallets are not a good long term storage space for condoms.While in a wallet, condoms can get sat on, bent and folded, increasing the likelihood of breakage.

It’s best to keep condoms stored in a dry, cool place. Heat and light can affect the quality and effectiveness of condoms. For this reason, avoid storing them in them your car.

For long term storage, keep condoms in a drawer, hallowed book, or toiletry bag. For short term storage (few hours or less), store condoms in your front pocket, purse or wallet.

Can Lube Help Prevent Breakage?

Yes! Lubrication minimizes friction, thereby reducing chances of condom breakage. Before placing the condom on, you can apply lube to the tip of the penis. You can also apply lube on the outside of the condom and to the vagina and vulva.

You are in control of your sexual wellness. Don’t foolishly buy the wrong size out of egotism or blindly trust that your partner has a properly fitting condom. Store them in safe areas and always have multiple condoms on stand-by.

All of this condom usage can hurt your pockets, but no worries! Prism Health North Texas offers free condoms to everyone, so stop by and grab some!