When you use a condom, you expect it to work! After all, condoms are 98 percent effective when used properly. And, while, yes 98 times out of a 100, condoms work as they were meant to, what about that two percent of the time when they fail? Luckily, condoms don’t just break out of nowhere; there’s usually a good reason for a condom to fail. That’s good news because it means that there are things you can do to lower your chances of condom failure even more than they already are. But, in order to do that, you first have to understand why condoms break in the first place. Here is a list from our OBGYN in Venice of some of the most common reasons why condoms break.

#1. The condom is expired.

Condoms have expiration dates, and if you want to avoid getting pregnant or being infected with an STI, it behooves you to pay close attention to those expiration dates. Why? Because over time, condoms start to break down, and that compromises their structural integrity. Additionally, the latex used to make condoms starts to dry out after awhile, leaving it brittle, inflexible and prone to breaking. In short, the longer you keep a condom around, the less effective it will be. So, make sure you check the expiration date before you use a condom.

#2. The condom has been stored improperly.

You know those guys who keep a condom in their wallet at all times, just in case? You might want to think twice before sleeping with one of them — or you’ll at least want to make sure that you use a condom that has been stored properly instead of the one in their wallet. The friction of body movements combined with body heat can wear down the condom. It’s important to store condoms properly in a cool, dry place. Preferably, condoms should be stored either at or just below room temperature. Never store your condoms anywhere cooler than 32 degrees or warmer than 100 degrees Fahrenheit.

#3. The condom isn’t being worn properly.

In order to get adequate protection from a condom, it’s essential to use it correctly. When used properly, there should be a little bit of room left over at the tip of the condom. If no room is left over, there’s a good chance that the condom could tear during ejaculation. On the flipside, if there is an air bubble in the condom, it also makes it prone to tearing.

Condoms break for all kinds of reasons, but luckily, they are still one of the most effective forms of birth control available. These are just a few of the things that can cause a condom to break, and to learn about the last few, make sure to stay tuned for our next blog.

In the meantime, if you are unsure if condoms are right for you, and you want to learn more about all of your birth control options, schedule your appointment with us at University Park Obstetrics and Gynecology. Our OBGYN in Venice is experienced and can help you find the right solution for your needs.