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What to Do If a Condom Breaks?

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What to Do If a Condom Breaks?

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During sex, condom breaking brings a kind of panic, but it is more likely to create no harm when the situation is handled properly. Please read the article to know more.

Medically reviewed by

Dr. Raveendran S R

Published At October 4, 2021
Reviewed AtJune 1, 2023


A condom has a variety of purposes, that is, acting as a method to prevent pregnancy and an important shield in preventing the transmission of sexually transmitted diseases (STDs). But people get confused and do not know what to do when a condom accidentally slides off or breaks during sexual intercourse. Such events are infrequent, but there is a chance that they might occur, and knowing about this is essential because when a person is in such a situation, they should know what should be done next to avoid unwanted pregnancies.

What to Do If a Condom Breaks?

Assess the Situation: During sex, when the condom ruptures, try to remain calm and stop the intercourse immediately by carefully withdrawing the partner's penis. Then look for the broken condom, whether it is still on the partner's penis or it has disappeared inside the vagina. Look for when the condom broke, whether before or after ejaculation. Depending on when the condom has broken, different precautions have to be taken. When the condom has broken before ejaculation, immediately stop the sexual intercourse and dispose of the condom. In such situations, the partner should immediately expel the semen. If the condom breaks after ejaculation, then a significant amount of seminal fluids will have already entered the vagina or rectum. Then, consider the risk of unplanned pregnancy or STDs (sexually transmitted diseases). When a person is at risk, take additional precautions to prevent these outcomes. For women, semen is expelled from the vagina by pushing the vaginal muscles. It is recommended for both men and women who have anal sex to sit down on a toilet bowl and discharge semen by simply bearing it down.

Preventing Pregnancy: Immediate Steps to Be Taken. Go straight to the bathroom and do the following steps to prevent pregnancy.

  • Get seated over the toilet and exert force to push down the vaginal muscles to expel any lingering ejaculation.

  • Sit on the toilet and apply force to urinate. This does not wash out the semen from the vaginal canal, but it helps to remove anything present outside the vagina.

  • Take a bath or use lukewarm water to splash the genitals gently. This also helps to wash away any lingering ejaculation.

Emergency Contraception: When there is a fear of getting pregnant, take emergency contraceptives to prevent pregnancy. Emergency contraceptives (EC) are available for women suspecting pregnancy as a result of condom breakage. Among them, morning-after pills are quite effective.

When a person is using contraceptive pills, they may want to consider using emergency contraception (EC) which includes a copper intrauterine device (IUD) or hormonal EC pills.

  • Copper Intrauterine Devices (IUDs) - It is usually placed by the doctor. Copper intrauterine devices are more than 99 % effective at preventing pregnancy for up to 10 years.

  • Emergency Contraception (EC) Pills - Emergency contraception (EC) is effective when used within 24 hours of semen exposure, and it is 95 % effective when it is used within 5 days of intercourse. It delivers a high dose of hormones, to stop ovulation, reduce the chances of fertilization, and prevent the fertilized egg from implantation. Ask the doctor which emergency contraception (EC) pill is right for the person.

  • Sexually Transmitted Infections (STI): When the partner is unfamiliar with STI (sexually transmitted infection) status, consider getting tested. When a person thinks that they or their partner are at risk of contracting HIV, immediately head to an HIV clinic. Explain to the doctor or nurse what happened so that they can start a treatment to prevent HIV (human immunodeficiency virus) infection called post-exposure prophylaxis (PEP). It is a 28-day course of antiretroviral medication that prevents HIV from infecting the body. After that, the person needs to take an HIV test to ensure that the medication has worked. Post-exposure prophylaxis is only effective within 72 hours of exposure to HIV. But it will work effectively the earlier they begin treatment.

How to Prevent Condom Breakage?

If a person has come across condom breakage, it is important to look for what might have led to condom failure. This will reduce the risk of future unwanted pregnancies or infections.

Size of the Condom:

  • If a person has a condom tear or break, it may be a sign of a small-sized condom. Look for the size and get the next size to get a better fit.

  • When the condom has slipped off during intercourse, then the condom may be too large for the penis.

  • Look for the next small size such that the condom should not move freely and fit snuggly.

  • The best way to find the perfect fit is to try different sizes until a person finds the best which fits well like a glove. Once they find one they like, buy it, and keep stock for future engagements.

Condom Usage:

  • Avoid using oil-based lubrication because the chemicals in the lubricant can weaken the latex material and can cause the condom to break. Instead, look for water-based lubricants or silicone-based lubes.

  • Do use lube and apply a little lube to the penis before placing the condom to make it more comfortable. When more lube is applied, the condom may slip or move.

  • Do not keep old stocks, as condoms that are too old are more likely to break. So, check for the expiration date, and use a fresh box of condoms at all times.

  • Do not wear two condoms at one time because it may cause a tear. People think an extra condom may reduce sensitivity or last longer, but it can lead to discomfort, causing both condoms to tear.

Storage of Condoms:

  • Keep the condoms away from cold, heat, and light because they may weaken the material and increase the risk of breakage. The friction between the wallet and the glove box makes condoms ineffective. Do not open the condom packages with sharp objects like knives, teeth, or scissors because a tiny nick on the surface of the condom can leak bodily fluids. Make sure to store condoms in a cool, dry place.


Condom breakage is a stress-inducing accident. To prevent condoms from breaking, always practice the proper usage of condoms, and make sure that the condom is not expired, and the condom is of appropriate size.

Frequently Asked Questions


Should A Person Be Concerned if the Condom Ruptures?

If the condom has broken during sex, stop immediately and replace it. If the condom ruptures, contact the doctor or health clinic immediately to inquire about emergency contraception.


Is It Possible to Become Pregnant if the Condom Breaks?

Yes, if the guy ejaculates and the condom breaks even slightly, there is a risk of pregnancy. This is because even the smallest rip in a condom allows tiny sperm to pass through.


What Causes a Condom to Rupture?

Heat, oils, sun, and chemicals can weaken condoms and make them more prone to breaking. Condoms should be kept from heat and light, which might cause them to dry up. Also, always use water-based lubricants with a condom, not oils or lotions.


Is It Possible to Detect When a Condom Ruptures?

After pulling out the condom or removing it from the penis, one can notice a rip or tear. Although there may not always be a large rupture, if the semen (cum) is leaking out, then the condom is most likely broken. Sometimes the condom completely ruptures and forms a ring around the base of the penis.


Is It Possible to Contract STD Through a Ruptured Condom?

It is always best to get a sexually transmitted infection (STI) test done for oneself and one’s partner as soon as possible. This is because when a condom ruptures during sex, one is exposed to bodily contact with sexual fluids. Unprotected contact with bodily fluids is the most common source of human deficiency virus (HIV) and other STI infections.


How Long Does Sperm Take to Reach the Egg?

Fast-moving sperm can reach the egg in under an hour, while others can take days. Sperm can survive for 48 to 72 hours. However, because of the numerous natural barriers in a woman's body, only a few hundred will get close to the egg.


How Long Does Sperm Last in a Condom?

Sperm in condoms can live for several hours if not exposed to the air. If exposed to an outside environment, sperm gets dried, whereas sperm on fabric or skin can only live for a few minutes.


When Is a Woman Unable to Conceive?

Women cannot conceive after their menstrual cycles cease, commonly occurring in their 40s or 50s. This is because men generate sperm throughout their lives, whereas women are born with a limited quantity of eggs that diminishes with age.


How Likely Is It That One Will Become Pregnant?

The chances of a woman becoming pregnant in any one month are 15 percent to 25 percent for most couples attempting to conceive. The likelihood of pregnancy after six months is approximately 75 percent for those without fertility issues. 90 percent following one year's time.


Are Thinner Condoms More Prone to Breaking?

Fortunately, thin condoms are no more likely to break than normal condoms, and they are rigorously tested to ensure this. Thin condoms are typically composed of the same durable latex material as conventional condoms but are designed to be thinner.


Can A Person Conceive on the First Try?

Yes, a girl can become pregnant on her first sex. A female is in danger of becoming pregnant whenever she has vaginal sex with a man. A female can become pregnant even if a guy ejaculates outside of but near her vagina or pulls out before he arrives.


Is It Even Possible to Become Pregnant?

Pregnancy occurs when a sperm fertilizes an egg, which can occur even if one has not had sexual contact (penetration). Semen is a liquid formed after ejaculation that includes millions of sperm. Semen can be ejaculated during penetrative vaginal intercourse (when the penis enters the vagina). 


What if a Condom Is Too Small?

An outer condom too large or too small for the penis can fall off or break, increasing the risk of pregnancy or disease transmission. It may also impair the capacity to orgasm. Therefore, knowing the condom size is critical for safe and enjoyable sex.
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Dr. Raveendran S R
Dr. Raveendran S R



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