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What causes a condom to break?

If you've ever experienced a condom break, you know it can be scary. Condoms go through several levels of testing and inspection before being sold. But there are some logistical reasons they can break during sex.

Here's what you should know to avoid possible breakage:

1. Lube is your friend.

Using lubricated condoms is a good first step. But applying additional lube on the outside for extra caution can help prevent breakage from friction.

Just be sure to avoid oil-based lubricant which can break down latex. Instead, stick with a silicone-based or water-based lube.

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2. Size matters.

We tend to roll our eyes when we hear "it won't fit!" because, as we know, condoms can stretch a LOT.

However, when the condom is too small it has a higher chance of breaking. If you or your partner find the condom too tight, try looking for a different size - and stock up!

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3. Store them safely.

Avoid keeping condoms in your pocket, wallet, or in your hot car. Condoms should be kept in a cool, dry place.

Storing them in temperatures over 104 fahrenheit or 40 degrees celsius can cause damage. 

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4. Check the expiration date!

Condoms have a shelf life of 5 years. Be sure to keep an eye on that expiry date before using. 

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5. Open carefully.

Remember to be cautious when opening. If possible, avoid using your teeth or sharp objects to open.

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If the condom does break, stop right away and get a new one. If you're concerned about pregnancy, contact your health care provider to discuss emergency contraception. It is also good practice for you and your partner to get tested for any sexually transmitted infections.

 

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