Medically the review by Debra Sullivan, Ph.D., MSN, R.N., CNE, COI — created by Kimberly Holland on march 14, 2019

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First points first: take it a deep breath.

You aren’t the first person — and you absolutely won’t be the critical — to suffer a torn or damaged condom during sexual activity.

The threats you face depend on when the condom broke and also the form of intercourse you to be having.

There are steps you deserve to take to alleviate your threat for sexually transmitted epidemic (STI) and also pregnancy, however time is of the essence.

We’ll speak you through what to perform next.

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If you notice the condom you’re utilizing is broken, avoid what she doing right away. Retract from her partner’s body.

Then, evaluate what you need to do next. These concerns can help you recognize your next steps.

Immediately afterward

Head directly to the bathroom. These steps may help:

Bear down. while you’re seated over the toilet, push down with your vaginal muscles. This can help push out any lingering ejaculate.

Emergency contraception

If friend aren’t utilizing another form of contraception, such as the pill, you may want to take into consideration emergency contraception (EC).

This includes hormonal EC pills or a copper intrauterine an equipment (IUD).

Although EC is most effective when offered within 24 hrs of semen exposure, it have the right to still be provided for increase to 5 days afterward.

EC is 95 percent effective when used within 5 days that intercourse.

EC pills provide a high dose of hormone to stop ovulation, minimize the possibilities of fertilization, or avoid a fertilized egg indigenous implanting to the uterus.

You deserve to purchase EC pills there is no a prescription at your regional pharmacy. Setup B One-Step, following Choice, and MyWay room all available over the counter and cost between $35 and $50.

Talk to your neighborhood pharmacist or other medical care provider around which EC option is appropriate for you. Together a general ascendancy of thumb, EC pills might be less efficient for people who have a higher body mass index (BMI). There isn’t any research to imply that the copper IUD is similarly affected through BMI, so this option might be an ext effective.

You may also consider obtaining a copper IUD. These must be placed by a doctor. Health and wellness insurance generally covers it.

In addition to acting as EC, copper IUDs are much more than 99 percent reliable at staying clear of pregnancy for up to 10 years.

When to take it a pregnancy test

For a trustworthy result, wait until the an initial day of her missed period to take a residence pregnancy test.

Pregnancy tests work-related by detecting a hormone called human reasonable gonadotropin (hCG).

HCG is existing when a fertilized egg is attached to the uterus. The much longer the egg is attached, the higher the hCG level rise.

It takes several weeks after implantation for her hCG level to it is in high sufficient to register v an at-home pregnancy test.

If you acquire a positive test result, think about waiting a few days and test again.

If girlfriend don’t desire to wait, see a medical professional or other health care provider to get a blood or urine test to check your results.

Immediately afterward

Don’t douche, usage an enema, or use any harsh soaps come scrub her mouth, genitals, or anal area.

These assets can reason inflammation and also may increase your danger for infection. Lock may likewise push ejaculate greater into the body.

Preventive medication

Post-exposure prophylaxis (PEP) is the just preventive medication available at this time. PEP have the right to reduce your hazard for contracting HIV.

If you think friend may have actually been exposed come HIV, check out a doctor or other medical care provider appropriate away.

You must start PEP in ~ 72 hrs of doubt exposure. The sooner you’re able come start, the better.

PEP no a one-time pill. You’ll need to take the medication as soon as or twice daily for at least 28 days.

It won’t be as efficient if girlfriend don’t take it it as prescribed.

When to get an STI test

For reputable results, wait at least 14 days after doubt exposure.

As a general preeminence of thumb:

STIWhen to get tested ~ potential exposure
chlamydiaat the very least 2 weeks
gonorrheaat the very least 2 weeks
syphilisat 6 weeks, 3 months, and also 6 months
genital wartsif symptoms appear
genital herpesat the very least 3 weeks
HIVat least 3 weeks

If you’ve performed dental sex, make certain to request a throat swab during your STI screen.

Also inquiry an anal Pap smear if you’ve obtained anal sex.

Oral and anal tests can look for STIs that might be missed throughout a conventional STI screening.

If you get a confident result, your healthcare provider will comment on your alternatives for treatment and advise girlfriend on any type of next steps.

STI symptoms to clock for

Many STIs room asymptomatic. This means they don’t present any kind of symptoms, and also you may have actually an infection without discovering it. That’s why STI screenings space so important.

When symptoms are present, they might include:

rashblistersitchingunusual discharge burning throughout urinationpain throughout intercoursefever

See a physician or other health care provider best away if you start experiencing any type of of these symptoms.

Once you’ve handled the instant aftermath, it’s necessary to look in ~ what can have caused the condom’s failure.

This will reduce your risk for future mishaps.


Did the condom tear or break? This might be a authorize that the condom was also small. Look at to size up one level to get a much better fit.

Did the condom on slide off throughout intercourse? The condom may be also large. Size down. A condom must fit snuggly and also not relocate freely.

The best method to find a an excellent fit is to try different varieties and sizes till you discover one that, well, fits like a glove.

Once you uncover one friend like, store a ready supply because that future engagements.


Don’t usage oil-based lubrication. The chemistry in the lube can weaken the latex material of the condom, which could reason a break. Instead, look for water- or silicone-based lubes.

Do use plenty of lube, however. friend can apply a small lube come the penis prior to rolling on the condom to make it an ext comfortable — yet only a little. Any much more on the inside and also the condom may slip or move. Save the mass of the lube because that the outside of the condom.

Keep your supply as much as date. prophylactics that are too old are more likely come tear. Examine for an expiration date, and also keep a fresh crate at all times.

Never stay two prophylactics at one time.

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You might think the extra layer will mitigate sensitivity or assist you last longer, however it have the right to actually bring about discomfort and cause both prophylactics to tear.


Keep condoms away indigenous heat, cold, and also light. These facets can undermine the material and increase the hazard of a break.

The friction in her wallet — and in your gloves box — have the right to make prophylactics ineffective.

Store condoms in a cool, dry place.

Avoid opening condom packages v sharp objects prefer your teeth, a knife, or scissors.