How to Put on a Condom: A Step-by-Step Guide


Using condoms during sexual intercourse is one of the easiest and most effective ways to protect against sexually transmitted infections (STIs) and unintended pregnancies. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), condoms are highly effective at preventing the transmission of STIs, including HIV, when used correctly and consistently. However, many people do not know how to properly use a condom. That’s why we’ve put together this step-by-step guide to help you put on a condom correctly and with confidence.

Step-by-Step Guide

Step 1: Check the expiration date
Before using a condom, it’s important to check the expiration date. Condoms have a shelf life of about five years from the date of manufacture. Expired condoms may not provide the necessary level of protection and are more likely to break or tear during use.

Step 2: Open the package carefully
Tear open the package carefully, using your fingers to avoid using any sharp objects like scissors or teeth that can damage the condom. Make sure to use a new condom for each sexual act.

Step 3: Make sure it’s facing the right way
Unroll the condom slightly to check which way it’s facing. If it’s facing the right way, it will easily unroll down to the base of the penis. If the condom is facing the wrong way, discard it and use a new one.

Step 4: Pinch the tip
Pinch the tip of the condom to leave some space at the top. This will prevent the condom from breaking and allow for semen to collect in the reservoir, reducing the chance of it spilling or leaking.

Step 5: Roll it down
Roll the condom all the way down the length of the penis. Ensure that the condom is unrolled completely and that there are no air bubbles to reduce the risk of breakage.

Common Mistakes to Avoid

One of the most common mistakes when using a condom is not putting it on correctly. Here are some mistakes to avoid:
– Not checking the expiration date
– Using sharp objects to open the package
– Not unrolling the condom to check which way it’s facing
– Failing to pinch the tip
– Unrolling the condom before putting it on the penis, which can cause it to tear
– Not leaving enough room at the tip, causing it to break or leak
– Using a condom that is too small or too big

Exploring Different Types and Sizes

There are various types and sizes of condoms available on the market to suit different needs and preferences. Some common types of condoms include latex, polyurethane, and polyisoprene. Latex condoms are the most commonly used and are highly effective at preventing STIs and pregnancy. Polyurethane and polyisoprene condoms are suitable for people with latex allergies.

When it comes to size, a condom that is too small can be uncomfortable and can break or tear during use, while a condom that is too big can slip off. Most condoms are sized between 6.5 to 9 inches in length and 1.75 to 2.25 inches in width. It’s important to choose a condom that fits well and feels comfortable.

Overcoming Barriers

Many people face barriers when it comes to using condoms, such as discomfort, embarrassment, and lack of education. To overcome these barriers, try the following tips:
– Practice putting on a condom before having sex to build confidence
– Communicate with your partner about condom use and ensure that they are on board
– Use water-based lubricants to reduce discomfort and increase pleasure
– Use condoms in private to avoid embarrassment
– Educate yourself on the benefits of condom use and how to put on a condom correctly

Importance of Condom Use

Using condoms during sexual activity can play a crucial role in preventing the spread of STIs and reducing the risk of unintended pregnancy. According to the CDC, the consistent and correct use of condoms reduces the risk of sexually transmitted infection by 80 to 90%. Condoms are also an effective form of birth control, with a failure rate of less than 2% when used correctly and consistently. Moreover, the use of condoms may increase sexual pleasure by reducing anxiety and promoting communication between partners.


Putting on a condom correctly is essential for protecting yourself against STIs and unintended pregnancy. This article has provided a step-by-step guide to using condoms, common mistakes to avoid, exploring different types and sizes, overcoming barriers, and emphasizing the importance of condom use. Remember, using a condom during sexual activity is simple, effective, and can make a significant impact on your overall health and well-being.

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