Our most common condom FAQs
Oops! You and your partner got hot and heavy, and during the action the condom broke. Or – worse – you got caught up in the moment and the condom got ‘lost’. Now what?
Don’t panic! Stop, take a breath and stay calm. You don’t need to fret if you follow the right steps. Check out our condom use FAQ below to find the answer to your problem – and remember, if you don’t find the solution below, simply contact us with your query and we’ll give you the answers you need.
When can my partner and I stop using them?
We think it’s a good idea to always use dual protection (birth control and condoms at the same time), because only condoms can protect you against HIV, STIs and unplanned pregnancy at the same time. If you’re in a committed monogamous relationship and you trust each other enough to get tested together, talk carefully about the choice to stop using condoms. You’ll need to ensure you pick the right contraceptive if you’re not ready to have children, and you’ll need to know for sure that you’re both 100% loyal to each other.
How effective are they?
When used correctly, condoms are 99% effective. Most issues that arise from incorrect condom use are usually due to user error.
Eek! The condom broke. What do we do?
Broken condoms need not cause panic, but you do need to act soon. You can take an emergency contraceptive (the ‘morning-after pill’) to prevent unplanned pregnancy. You should also get tested for STIs.
Help! The condom got ‘lost’ inside me!
The good news is that a condom can’t actually get ‘lost’ inside your body, it is lodged inside your vagina because there is nowhere else that it can go. Once you realise that the condom is no longer on your partner on somewhere on the bed, you should try and use your fingers to feel for the condom inside the vaginal canal. Once you have felt around for it then slowly pull it out or you could also ask your partner to try to help you find it – after all, they helped get it in there! But if you are still weary and cannot locate it yourself, you can head to the nearest Marie Stopes centre or local clinic where they will perform a speculum exam that will locate and extract the condom for you. Whilst you are still in the clinic you may need to make sure you didn’t get any infections. In some cases the ‘lost’ condom will come out when you use the bathroom for the first time after your sexual encounter or your vagina will push the condom out within 48 hours, but if you’re in any way concerned, rather be safe than sorry and visit your doctor or clinic.
Will condoms protect me against unplanned pregnancy?
Yes, when used correctly, condoms are 99% effective in preventing pregnancy. In fact, they’re one of the most reliable short term contraceptive methods available today.
Where can I go for STI testing, pregnancy tests or pap smears?
All Marie Stopes clinics around South Africa offer affordable, confidential sexual health services including HIV and STI testing, pregnancy testing and counselling, pap smears and a range of other services for men and women. We can help you with any condom mishap you’ve had.
All you need to do is contact us and make an appointment. It’s quick, easy and painless, and it’s way better than sitting around worrying. Trust us – we can help. Why not book an appointment for HIV and STI testing and put your mind at ease?
Condom use FAQs: Oops, the condom broke! Now what? Here’s what you need to do about broken condoms & how to prevent HIV when condom use goes wrong
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