Condoms can prevent pregnancies and STDs if they are correctly used and checked. Learn the ways to know if you’re using the right one
It is proven that even after using the condom, a woman can get pregnant. Hence, it is essential to check and know how to use a condom. If properly used, the male condoms are about 98 per cent effective at preventing pregnancy. It also reduces the risk of infection from other STIs like gonorrhoea and chlamydia and STD. Condoms can also protect against HIV (Human Immunodeficiency Virus) that causes AIDS. The Food and Drug Administration found out specific domestic and international standards to be followed by condom manufacturers that include a series of testing procedures such as testing for possible microscopic holes.
How are Condoms Electronically Tested?
Each condom undergoes a series of testing procedures to ensure proper quality post-production. They are tested electronically for additional assurance before being finally packed. The condom is tested by placing it over a ‘mandrel’ made up of material. It is then passed through an electric field. The insulating characteristic of rubber helps in the process of detecting microscopic holes and thin spots.
Additionally, condoms also go through a water burst test, tensile test, air burst test, water leakage and ageing test for checking microscopic pinholes electronically. In the United States, the manufacturers are responsible for any holes or defects of condoms. After reviewing the holes and defects, they sample each lot of condoms by visually examining them through a water leakage test.
Ways To Check A Condom Yourself
Listed below are some checklist points to check whether the condoms you bought from the store are fit for use or not:
- Before you buy, check the expiration date on the box at the store, to make sure that the condoms you’re about to purchase haven’t expired as they weaken over time and may easily break.
- Check the condition of the packaging. The package shouldn’t be open or with holes. If so, the condom may have dried out, which is likely to break.
- While checking, press on the wrapper and see if the package has a bit of air resistance from inside the package. This means that the package is in good condition and hasn’t been torn or punctured.
- Squish the wrapper to the side and gently push the condom in a side-slide motion. The movement of condoms inside will indicate that the lubricant has not dried out and is good to go.
- In case of unlubricated condoms, it won’t slide in the package, but you can still do the air resistance test.
Do’s and Don’ts
We all know the importance of using protection while having a sexual intercourse. Hence, there are certain do’s and don’ts that one should keep in mind while using condoms:
- Store your condoms properly to avoid getting it crumbled
- Check the expiration date before you buy the condoms
- Keep them away from sharp objects
- Before using, pinch the tip and make sure you have squeezed the air out of the tip as they can reduce the risk of breaking during use
- Get a fitted one as a loosely fitted condom will allow the moments of fluid and uncertainty of pregnancy
- It’s better to use water or silicone-based lubricant because the oil will damage the condom
- If the condoms look damaged and feel sticky, throw it away
- Wrap the used condom and throw them
- Remove jewellery that can tear a condom
- Be careful while tearing the package
- While opening the package, don’t use your teeth, fingernails, scissors or any other sharp objects
- Don’t unroll it and blow air before putting it on
- Don’t use an expired condom as they might be risky
- Never expose condoms to heat such as direct sunlight or somewhere at the back pocket
- Don’t keep them in your wallet
- Don’t use male and female condoms together as they may stick to each other and slip off
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