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Condoms

Condoms can help to protect you against sexually transmitted infections and HIV, and help to prevent unwanted pregnancy. Use a new condom every time you have sex.

There is a large selection of types, shapes and sizes of condoms to suit everyone. What is important when you use a condom is that you use plenty of lube (lubricant) with it as this helps prevent friction which can lead to a condom bursting.

How to use a condom

Always check that the condom is in date and has a BSI Kitemark or CE mark on the condom as this shows that the condom has been properly tested and is safe to use. Check that the condom foil is intact.

Always use your own condom rather than one a customer brings as this may have been damaged.

  • Be careful when opening the condom not to damage it with sharp fingernails or jewellery.
  • Put the condom on when the man’s penis is erect before the penis touches your vagina or genital area. Fluid is often released when the man becomes aroused in the early stages of an erection. This fluid may cause pregnancy or pass on an infection. We suggest you put the condom on for customers as this way you can check that it is not tampered with and that it is put on properly.
  • Hold the condom teat between your thumb and finger making sure the condom is the right way for unrolling. This expels air from the teat, reducing chance of it bursting.
  • Still holding the end roll the condom all the way down his penis.
  • If it won’t roll down then it is probably on inside out. If so start again with a new condom as sperm could now be on the first one.
  • Make sure that the condom stays in place during sex. This can be harder if you are in certain positions, e.g. doggy style (vaginal sex from behind).
  • As soon as the man has ejaculated and before his penis goes soft, hold the condom in place while he pulls out.
  • Throw the condom away in a bin. Condoms should not be flushed down the toilet.

Where can I get them from?

MASH give out condoms from the outreach van and at the drop-in sessions at the centre. You can also get them free from sexual health clinics, some GPs. You can buy them at some supermarkets or pharmacies.

What to do if a condom breaks

If a condom breaks or slips off during a service:

Try to remain calm and stop the service immediately, by carefully withdrawing the client’s penis.

You may need to look for the broken condom.

Is it still on the client’s penis, or has it disappeared inside you?

There are 3 things you need to think about:

  • Pregnancy
  • Sexually transmitted Infections
  • HIV

You may want to follow the advice below depending on the service

A woman having vaginal sex should:

Go to the bathroom and pee to flush away any sperm that may be near your urethra.

Whilst sitting on the toilet remove excess sperm by squatting down and squeezing with your vaginal muscles.

Do not douche or wash inside your vagina because this can push any sperm and bacteria high into your vagina, which is more likely to result in a pregnancy or a sexually transmitted infection. Douching also alters the useful bacteria that protects your vagina from infection.

Wash the outside of your genitals by splashing them with water or pouring a bottle of lukewarm water over them whilst sitting on the toilet.

You may need to get emergency contraception if you are not using any other contraception. This should be taken in the first 72 hours after a condom breaks. (Remember it is possible to get pregnant even if the client did not come inside you.)

It is important to have a sexual health check up. This should be 14 days after the condom breaks or sooner if you have any symptoms or concerns.

You may be worried about HIV and want to find out about PEP

A person receiving anal sex should:

Sit on the toilet and bear down to remove as much sperm as possible

Do not douche or wash inside your anus because this can create tears in your anus and increase the likelihood of sexually transmitted infection including HIV.

It is important to have a sexual health check up including anal tests. This should be 14 days after the condom breaks or sooner if you have any symptoms or concerns.

You may be worried about HIV and want to find out about PEP

A person giving oral sex should:

Spit out any semen quickly, or swallow it immediately—do not let it stay in your mouth Rinse and spit using water Do not brush or floss your teeth for at least one hour after the service. It is important to have a sexual health check up including throat swabs. This should be 14 days after the condom breaks or sooner if you have any symptoms or concerns.

Next page: Testing for HIV and HEP B & C

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