Condoms have been proven to be 99.95 percent effective in minimizing your chances of coming in contact with sexually transmitted diseases (STIs), including HIV, or getting pregnant. However, when condom breaks, all these guarantees will simply vanish and it can be a terrifying event to experience.

When Condom Breaks: What You Should Do Immediately

Not sure why your condom broke? Watch this video and learn the top reasons that condoms break here!

Condoms break for different reasons and the consequences of a broken condom may range from nothing to life changing events such as getting pregnant and contacting a sexually transmitted disease, so the earlier you know the common condom mistakes you are making the better for you and your partner(s).

Not sure why your condom broke? Learn the top reasons that condoms break here!

When condom breaks, following the steps outlined below will help you minimize the risks of STIs and unwanted pregnancy:

Stop!

Many times, a broken condom will not be noticed until after sex. But if you know that the condom has malfunctioned during sex, and before ejaculation, stop right away, pull out, remove the broken condom and apply a new one.

DO NOT put a new one on top of the broken one, as that will cause friction and breakage. This is sometimes easier said than done, especially if you and your partner are close to climaxing. Because it might be hard to stop, it will be wise that you and your partner agree on an exit strategy beforehand in case you need an emergency pull-out.

It is better to abort the momentary pleasure than having to deal with the consequences of an unwanted pregnancy or contacting a sexually transmitted disease.

If ejaculation has occurred, stop and pull out carefully, and then follow other steps as listed below.

Stay calm

Don’t panic! Accidents happen. There is still a solution to the problem.

Remain calm and try not to blame each other, at least not just after the accident. Take a deep breath and relax; that will make it easier for you to make rational decisions.

Look for the condom

You may need to look for the broken condom. Is it still on your partner’s penis or it has disappeared inside you?

If the broken condom is still on your partner’s penis, good for you – you can breathe easy, at least that is one less thing to worry about. But if it is not on your partner’s penis, and it’s nowhere to be found, it most likely will be in your vagina, read How to Remove a Condom Lost in The Vagina.

Go to the Bathroom

ü  Urinate to flush away any sperm or vaginal secretions that may be near your urethra.

ü  Squat down and squeeze with your vaginal muscles. This will help you remove as much excess sperm as possible from your vagina.

ü  Wash the outside of your genitals by splashing them with water or pouring a bottle of lukewarm water over them whilst sitting on the toilet. The man should also wash his penis thoroughly, particularly under the foreskin.

DO NOT DOUCHE or wash the inside of your vagina because this can push sperms and bacteria high into your vagina which is more likely to result in pregnancy or a sexually transmitted disease.

Douching also alters the useful bacteria that protect your vagina from bacteria vaginosis.

Douching after anal sex can create tears in the anus and increase the likelihood of sexually transmitted infection, including HIV.

Prevent pregnancy

If you are woman and you dread having to make the difficult, life-altering decisions that come with an unplanned pregnancy, you should consider taking a Morning-After pill after your condom accident. Morning-After pills, also known as Plan B, Emergency contraceptive pills or ECP, contain high dose of progesterone. It can prevent ovulation and fertilization if taken within 72 hours of having unprotected sex. However, the earlier the better – emergency contraception is most effective when taken right away, and taking it within 24 hours is encouraged. It is often recommended that you should buy the morning-after pill beforehand, so that you will have it ready when you need it.

The high level progesterone in the pill may cause some side effects which include nausea and vomiting, headache, tiredness, breast tenderness, fatigue, and menstrual changes – but if you experience a severe abdominal pain, you should see a doctor.

Another form of emergency contraception is the copper Intra-Uterine Device (IUD). A copper IUD can be inserted by a doctor or trained family planning personnel, and you should get this inserted within 5 days of having an unprotected sexual intercourse. It works by increasing cervical mucus, repelling sperm and preventing implantation.

Never use contraceptive foams such as Nonoxynol-9. This can irritate the mucous membrane and increase your risk of sexually transmitted disease.

However, if your period is late by more than a week or you have spotting, you might be pregnant, so you should get tested – women who take morning after pills still have about 1.8 percent chance of getting pregnant.

Knowing that emergency contraception can have very bad side effects and may not prevent pregnancy is important and you should not rely on this type of birth control as a regular after-the-act protection.

Get STD Tests

If you and your partner are in a monogamous relationship, and you are sure the two of you is clean, then you can relax about sexually transmitted diseases (STDs). But you should still be alert for possible signs of sexually transmitted diseases or HIV such as rash, swollen glands, fever, flu-like symptoms, pain or discharge from the penis or vagina. If you have any of these, you should see your doctor as soon as possible.

If you are not in a monogamous relationship or either of you have other HIV risk factors such as a history of IV drug use,  having sex with prostitutes or other unsafe sexual practices, you and your partner should get tested for gonorrhea, chlamydia, syphilis, HIV, and Hepatitis B and C virus as soon as possible. If your HIV results are negative, you’ll need to repeat the tests at 6 weeks, 3 months and 6 months to allow time for the body to produce HIV antibodies if infection has occurred.

If either (or both) of you tested positive for an infection, you can find out, from your doctor, what treatments is available. For example, someone with genital herpes should not have sex (even with condoms) when they have open sores or wounds present.

Prevent HIV

If you have been exposed to HIV, ask for post-exposure prophylaxis (PEP) – a morning after treatment for HIV that may prevent infection. The treatment is a month-long course of HIV (antiretroviral) medications that are most effective if you start them right away – but may still work up to 72 hours after exposure. Side effects include extreme nausea and fatigue, but this will thin out to insignificance when compared to the side effects of full treatment if you become infected.

To find PEP, call a doctor, a health clinic, an AIDS service organization, or a health department, or visit your local emergency room.

Support Your Partner

Aside from the health complications that can arise from a condom breakage, there are emotional issues that can arise as well. Emotional support is just as important as the necessary health steps. One of the most important things is effective communication between you and your partner.

A condom breaking is scary for a lot of reasons, and it is important to feel supported as you and your partner begin talking about the next steps to take.

Prevent Future Accidents

Finally, here are some tips on how you can prevent condom from breaking:

  •  Don’t always go for the cheapest brand, the few extra bucks you spend on getting a good condom can save you a lot of worrying later on.
  • NEVER USE AN EXPIRED CONDOM! Always check for the expiry date, and if the condom is expired, or the date is not stated on it, or the date is not clear enough or has cleaned off, don’t use it – it’s better to be safe than sorry.
  • Make sure the condom you are using has been properly stored – in a cool, dry place – and that has not been stashed for a long period of time in a purse, wallet or pants pocket – It’s fine to put condoms in your purse or pocket before heading out, but don’t leave them there for an extended period of time. Places that get too hot or too cold can compromise the rubber and make a condom burst more easily.
  • Never wear 2 condoms at once (two male condoms or a male and female condom). The friction created would weaken the two condoms and cause both condoms to break.
  • Never use oil-based lubricants such as vaccine, doing this will make the latex weaker.
  • Use lots of water-based lubricants, on the inside and outside of the condom prior to use, to decrease friction that may weaken the condom.
  • Make sure you are using the proper size of condom for you. There are larger and smaller sizes available for those who need them.
  • NEVER Re-Use a Condom!
  • Learn how to put on a condom properly.
  • Also learn more on why condoms break.

If you experience a condom breakage, stay calm. Be rational, weigh your options, act fast, and most importantly, talk to your partner. An open line of communication and a smart approach to STI and pregnancy prevention can ease your worries and avert the potential consequences of a broken condom.

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