What Happens If a Condom Breaks? Here Is What You Should Do Following a Condom Snafu

Source: Getty Images
Source: Getty Images

When a condom breaks, sex might feel a little different all of a sudden, because there is no longer a barrier between you and your partner. And depending on your bed partner and your current situation, that can be a problem.

Read more: This Unlikely Material Could Be the Super-Thin Condom of the Future 

Condoms provide physical barriers to sexually transmitted infections (STIs) and possible pregnancy; if the barrier is breached, the benefits are gone. As such, if a condom breaks or slips off, you may want to take a few precautionary next steps.

Source: Giphy

Are you a woman who's not using an alternate form of birth control? Then Plan B — emergency contraception — might be a worthwhile investment. It can be purchased over-the-counter at most pharmacies, and if taken within 72 hours of unprotected sex, condom breakage or birth control mishaps, it's highly successful at preventing pregnancy. Here is a helpful countdown clock, for reference. 

Are you concerned about STIs? Then you should get yourself to a doctor or healthcare provider for a screening, but caution: different maladies have different incubation periods. If the condom breaks on a Saturday, Monday may be too soon to get tested — many STIs wouldn't show up on a test.

HIV is an STI about which it's smart to be concerned, and thankfully, there are medications — post-exposure prophylaxis, or PEP — that drastically reduce the chances of contracting the virus if taken within 72 hours of exposure. Patients need to carefully keep to the treatment course for a month and should see a medical professional ASAP (and definitely within three days) if they have reason to believe they've been exposed to HIV.

Source: Giphy

Are you interested in preventing future condom crises? Then listen up: A condom may be more likely to break depending on its fit, condition and the way you roll it on, according to Bedsider. A condom that's too small may tear, ditto a condom that's too old (or overheated, or underheated or exposed to the rough and tumble world that is the bottom of your bag). 

When putting on a condom, make sure to leave room at the tip and that you're not putting it on upside down. Here is a helpful video. Go practice on a banana.


Source: YouTube

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Claire Lampen

Claire is a staff writer at Mic who covers women's issues and reproductive rights. She is based in New York and can be reached at claire@mic.com.

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