9 Condom Mistakes All Women Make (Without Even Realizing It)

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condom mistakes women make

You might be doing it wrong.

Condoms may not be our favorite thing in the world, but they also are a pretty important part of our world. Using this form of birth control protects us from unwanted pregnancy, but also the potential for diseases and infections — all of which we certainly don't want.

But, of course, condoms are only as effective as the people using them, and user error can happen a lot more than we realize.

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From not using them when we should be, or putting them on wrong, to even using the wrong size or handling them in a risky way, there's a whole lot of condom mistakes women make that defeat the purpose of using those condoms.

Are you using the right lube? Leaving space at the tip? Unrolling correctly? There's just so much to think of. Here are 10 condom mistakes women make and what you should be doing instead.

1. You don't use a condom during oral sex.

"Even if ejaculation hasn't happened, pre-ejaculate can be expelled and can carry infections and HPV," says sex educator Tiffany Yelverton.

2. You don't use a condom during anal sex.

"Just because you can't get pregnant doesn't mean that it is safe," says Yelverton.

3. You don't use lube.

Lube will make sex more enjoyable for both partners.

"Placing a little lube and even a water-based arousal gel in the inside tip of the condom will increase sensation for the wearer. Lube creates slip so that the vaginal walls are protected from micro-tears and abrasions, from any drag caused by the condom," says Yelverton.

4. You try to put it on too soon.

"It's really important that he has proper blood flow and a solid erection before putting the condom on," says Antonia Hall, MA., a psychologist, relationship expert and sexpert.

5. You wait too long to put it on.

Skin to skin contact during foreplay isn't safe and could lead to an STI or even pregnancy.

"Neither of you may notice that drop of pre-ejaculate, but it could be loaded with sperm or an untreated infection," advises Hall.

6. You aren't careful about preventing rips.

Condoms can get rips and tears in them from finger nails or any other sharp edge.

"Don't use something sharp to open the package and be careful of nails when you roll it down. While it may be tempting, don't take it out of the package and leave it on the nightstand for later," says Hall.

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7. You don't leave space at the tip. 

Using fingertips, pinch the tip of the condom to get the air out of it. That little space gives his sperm a place to go when he ejaculates.

8. You forget to unroll it first.

A condom is made to roll in one direction: on his penis.

"Place it over his erect penis, leaving the airless space at the tip, and then roll it all the way down to the very base of his penis," says Hall. 

9. You're using the wrong size.

You may think you're boosting his ego by pulling out a mega size condom, but a condom that's too big could roll off or allow fluids to leak out.

"A condom that's too small is not only going to be uncomfortable for him but is risky, as it could tear leaving you both unprotected," says Hall.

10. You use an expired condom.

Using an expired condom or one that's been carried around in a purse or wallet for a long time may not be effective.

"Condoms can dry out, which makes them easier to rip or tear," says Hall.

Still not keen on using condoms? Watch the video below for alternative methods of birth control:


Aly Walansky is a NY-based lifestyles writer. Her work appears in dozens of digital and print publications regularly. Visit her on Twitter or email her at alywalansky@gmail.com.