When Should You Use Condoms During Sex?
No method of birth control is foolproof, but understanding how they work to prevent pregnancy is going to increase a couple’s chance of using them correctly and effectively. Knowing when to use condoms during sex and for how long they protect you will mean less chance of an unwanted pregnancy and of acquiring a sexually transmitted disease.
Condoms provide a barrier between the seminal stream and vaginal emissions, which is why they’re effective at preventing an STD. For the most effectiveness they need to be used at the start of intercourse and entirely throughout; it’s never good to try intercourse without a condom even for a few minutes, if you’re looking for protection against an STD.
A condom will only protect you against unwanted pregnancy when it is able to provide a barrier for the entire seminal stream. If the condom is weak for any reason, such as being used past its expiration date or being used with an oil-based lubricant, this will reduce its effectiveness. It may actually break, meaning you then have no protection from either a pregnancy or an STD.
It’s also never good to reuse a condom. Because of how it’s applied and removed, there may still be semen around the edge or tip of the condom, and reusing it may also weaken it.
If you have any questions about the use of condoms or your birth control options in general, be sure to speak to your gynecologist or doctor. This will mean the most protection against an unwanted pregnancy and against an STD, for both men and women.