How to put on a condom, an illustrated step by step approach and guidelines

  • Condoms are highly effective in preventing the transmission of HIV and other Sexually Transmitted Diseases (STDs).
  • Condoms can greatly reduce a person’s risk of getting or giving STDs, including HIV infection. HIV is the virus that causes AIDS.
  • But for condoms to provide maximum protection, they must be used consistently and correctly.
  • Consistent use means using a condom from start to finish every time you have sex.

To correctly use and how to put a condom, follow the steps below:

1. Use a new condom each time you have sex — whether vaginal, anal or oral.
2. Put the condom on after the penis is erect and before any sexual contact. Hold the tip of the condom to squeeze out the air.
3. The rolled rim of the condom should be on the outside. Leave space at the tip of the condom for semen, but make sure that no air is trapped in the condom’stip.

4. Unroll the condom all the way down the erect penis.
5. If additional lubrication is needed, lubricate the outside of the condom if it is not pre-lubricated. Use only water-based lubricants. You can purchase a lubricant at any pharmacy. Your pharmacist can tell you which lubricants are water-based.

Oil-based lubricants, such as petroleum jelly, cold cream, hand lotion, cooking oil or baby oil weaken the condom and should not be used.

The penis should be withdrawn while it is still erect. Hold the condom firmly to keep it from slipping off. Throw the used condom away in the trash. Never re-use a condom. If the condom breaks during sex, the penis should be withdrawn and a new condom put on.

Always keep condoms handy, but store them in a cool, dry place that is out of direct sunlight. Do not use a condom after its expiration date or if it has been damaged in any way.

Adapted from New York State Health Department.