There are many different brands of condoms and preferences are personal. Try several brands to find the most comfortable. When using condoms, follow these guidelines:
- Always use before the expiry date on the package. If in doubt, get a fresh supply.
- Store condoms in a cool, dry place Exposure to heat can break down latex. Polyurethane condoms are not affected by heat or light and may be stored for up to five years.
- Carefully open the condom package; teeth or fingernails can tear the condom.
- Put the condom on by pinching the tip to remove air bubbles, and unrolling it all the way down the shaft of the penis from head to base.
- Use only water- or silicone-based lubricants. (Oil-based lubricants, such as cooking or vegetable oil, baby oil, hand lotion or petroleum jelly (Vaseline) will cause the latex condom to deteriorate and break.)
- Withdraw the penis from the vagina or the anus after ejaculation while still erect. Grasp the rim of the condom between the fingers and slowly withdraw the penis (with the condom still on) so that no semen is spilled.
- Remove the condom, making certain that no semen is spilled.
- Carefully dispose of the condom. Do not reuse it.