Why Condoms Occasionally Fail

Why Condoms Occasionally Fail

Although they are one of the most common and effective forms of contraception, like all things in life there can sometimes be issues and every now and again, something can go wrong.

As the only form of protection which protects from STDs and unwanted pregnancy, if used correctly condoms can tick all of the boxes but if they do go wrong, it can sometimes have disastrous consequences.

Most of the time these issues will be due to user error and although humans might like to deny it, in most cases it is someone’s fault. These mistakes are often made through someone being careless or just the complacency that sometimes comes from having used condoms successfully in the past.

In today’s blog post, we are going to delve deeper in this topic and discuss the most common reasons why condoms fail. We’ll also be offering some tips, tricks and advise to help prevent you from making the same mistakes.

Condoms that arrive pre-damaged or with a manufacturing error | 

Ok, so this is one of the very few issues you might incur which cannot be pinned on you and this case, you are totally forgiven. However, that said, it is an incredibly rare reason why condoms fail and providing you’ve bought condoms from a reputable vendor, you really shouldn’t experience this issue.

But to give yourself that extra peace of mind, we suggest being overly cautious when purchasing your condoms and taking extra measures to ensure that they are in good condition. Just be sure that you opt for known and recommended brands or retailers and never buy them from dodgy looking websites or stores. In addition, once they’ve arrived, always check, double check and triple check the packaging, making sure that there is no existing damage or concern.

Lastly, always check for the expiry date as it’s something that a lot of people tend to forget about. Most condoms do last a fairly long time, but they do expire and when they do, they are far less effective.

Human error |

On the rare occasions that condoms do fail, it’s usually as a result of human error and it’s by far the largest reason for them not being effective.

Firstly, even before you open the packaging, it’s important to make sure that you have purchased the right type of condom for you, always being careful to take size into consideration. The wrong size can mean that the condom can break, tear or slip off during sex. If you haven’t previously measured yourself, then go and do it right now because that will help you to ensure that you get the right size for you. This will at least eliminate one of the most common human error.

Next, always be careful how you open your condom packaging and never, ever use your teeth or a scissors. Most people think that this is the standard way of opening the packaging but it’s absolutely not and if you do, you risk damaging the condom in the process. The packages themselves will usually have easy to tear corners, so take a breath, find the corner and carefully remove the packaging. We know, when the moment strikes you want to get them out as quickly as possible, but we all know what can happen when condoms are used incorrectly.

When you finally have it out of the packaging, make sure that you’re really with how you put it on. Despite condoms being super easy to use, sometimes people are blinded by passion and often make errors whilst putting them on. Just be sure to put it on correctly, making sure that you have it the right way and unrolled correctly.

Lastly, hold on to the condom before you withdraw from your partner and move away before you take it off. If you’ve made it that far already, don’t ruin in those last few moments.

Use lube |

Whilst most condoms already have some kind of pre-applied lubricant or solution, always make sure to use extra lube, especially if you are doing any kind of rough sexual activity. This can help to decrease any potential friction and in doing so, reduce the risk of it breaking or tearing in any way.

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Stuart Brown

Stuart Brown

I'm Stuart, senior Editor at British Condoms. I am an expert in all areas of sexual health and have a passion to drive knowledge to youth in the UK. Any questions for me or media enquiries, please feel free to tweet me @britishcondoms. Always open to engagement.

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