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Do's and Don'ts

View How to use a condom animation.


  • DO use only latex or polyurethane (plastic) condoms.
  • DO keep condoms in a cool, dry place.
  • DO put the condom on an erect (hard) penis before there is any contact with a partner's genitals.
  • DO use plenty of water-based lubricant (like KY Jelly® or Astroglide®) with latex condoms. This reduces friction and helps prevent the condom from tearing.
  • DO squeeze the air out of the tip of the condom when rolling it over the erect penis. This allows room for the semen (cum).
  • DO hold the condom in place at the base of the penis before withdrawing (pulling out) after sex.
  • DO throw the condom away after it's been used.


  • DON'T use out of date condoms. Check the expiration date carefully. Old condoms can be dry, brittle or weakened and can break more easily.
  • DON'T unroll the condom before putting it on the erect penis.
  • DON'T leave condoms in hot places like your wallet or in your car.
  • DON'T use oil-based products, like baby or cooking oils, hand lotion or petroleum jelly (like Vaseline®) as lubricants with latex condoms. The oil quickly weakens latex and can cause condoms to break.
  • DON'T use your fingernails or teeth when opening a condom wrapper. It's very easy to tear the condom inside. If you do tear a condom while opening the wrapper, throw that condom away and get a new one.
  • DON'T reuse a condom. Always use a new condom for each kind of sex you have.
  • DON'T regularly use lubricants with spermicide called nonoxynol-9 ("N-9") as they may cause skin irritation or tiny abrasions that make the genital skin more susceptible to STIs.

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