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Common Condom Mistakes

1. Putting it on after penetration
In a recent study, 44% of women didn't use a condom until after intercourse had started. It is possible to get pregnant from a pre-ejaculate fluid and you can contract some serious STDs from just skin to skin contact.

2. Not using lube
Even if a condom is put on correctly, it may not stay in one piece. The best way to avoid breakage: use a lubricant (or prelubricated condoms) since it will reduce the friction that causes tears. Remember, never use oil based lubricants with latex condoms! Try water-based lubricants like Astroglide.

3. Using one that's too loose
To avoid slippage, make sure the condom fits snugly. If it doesn't, switch to Trojan Ultra Fit or Lifestyles Snugger Fit, which are designed to grab more tightly.

4. Storing it in your wallet
Heat and humidity break down condoms, so keep them in a cool, dry place - not a wallet, pocket, or glove compartment. Remember to always check the expiration date. An old condom can develop invisible tears.

5. Ripping the package open
Never use scissors, your teeth, or another sharp object to open the wrapper as you may damage the condom inside.

6. Lingering post love-making
Once the penis starts to get soft, semen can spill out of the condom. Right after ejaculation, you should withdraw while holding on to the base of the condom.

7. Start fresh
If you unroll a condom the wrong way, trade it for a new one; it could be tainted with sperm or an STD virus.

Source: Nancy Padian, PhD., Professor of OB-GYN and Reproductive Science at UC-San Francisco.

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