Always handle the condom carefully and remove from the foil with care. If the condom or the foil show any visible signs of damage do not use.
Store in a cool, dry place, away from direct sunlight. Carrying condoms in your wallet or back pocket is not advisable.
Some medications applied to the penis, anus or vagina may damage condoms, so check with your doctor or pharmacist.
A condom should never be used for a second time. It will not offer the same protection against pregnancy and STIs if it has been used before and the risk of breakage is higher.
Do not use oil-based lubricants such as baby oil, petroleum jelly, body lotions, massage oils, butter, etc. as they can damage latex condoms. If additional lubrication is desired, use a water-based lubricant. It is recommended to use additional lubrication if vaginal dryness is an issue or for anal sex to minimise the risk of a condom breaking or coming off. If a condom is used for anal sex please make sure that plenty lubricant is used and the condom is changed frequently.
Please consider the environment when disposing of condoms. Condoms should be wrapped in a tissue, and disposed of in a domestic waste bin. Flushing them down the toilet may cause plumbing problems. The plastic and foil wrappers condoms are packaged in are biodegradable. However, the benefits condoms offer are widely considered to offset their small landfill mass.
If you have unprotected sex or you feel that the condom has failed you could be at risk of sexually transmitted infections, HIV or an unintended pregnancy. Any risk will depend on the kind of sex you have had (vaginal, anal, oral, sharing sex toys etc). Contact your Sandyford Service or GP for emergency advice as soon as possible, preferably within the first 24 hours.