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How to Use a Condom

Reviewed by: Amy W. Anzilotti, MD

When you use condoms correctly, every time you have sex, they help prevent pregnancy and STDs.


  • Use latex or polyurethane condoms.
  • Check the condom and its wrapper before using. Make sure there are no tears or defects and that it is not expired.
  • Do not keep condoms in your wallet. This can break them down so much that they don’t work.
  • Put the condom on before you start having sex.
  • If you are uncircumcised, pull back the foreskin before putting on the condom.
  • If you use lubricant, make sure it’s water-based or silicone-based. Other types can break down the condom.
Reviewed by: Amy W. Anzilotti, MD
Date reviewed: September 2022