Why Do Condoms Sometimes Break?

Most people have survived the stress of a condom breaking at least once in their lifetime. But why exactly do condoms sometimes break, and how can you stop it from happening? 

When a condom breaks during sex, it ruins the whole experience for both partners. Every scenario goes through your head, from pregnancy to an STI if you don’t know your partner’s sexual history just yet.

Experts have researched and concluded why condoms break and in what situations. Let’s find out why and how you can prevent that unpleasant situation from occurring.

They’re Past the Expiration Date

Believe it or not, like all other products in the world, condoms have a shelf life. So, if your condom breaks, it’s likely that it’s past the expiration date, and you should’ve thought about it sooner. As same as with foods, it’s best to check the labels, and if the expiration date has passed, don’t use the condom.

Luckily, both the box and the individual condom packaging indicate the expiration date. It is a good idea to look at it because this is the most common reason for condoms to break.

They Are Too Small

While it may seem like every condom suits everyone, it's not entirely true. Condoms have their size. If they’re too large, they will fall off. The same goes for too small of a condom - if it’s tight around the penis, it can either burst or slip easily.

Using a small condom puts pressure on the latex, and it can burst much faster than in other situations. Always check what kind of condom you need before buying one. They have informative labels where you can check what size you have to buy.

You Use the Wrong Lubricants

Next, some lubricants are intended for use with condoms, such as water-based lubricants. Others, like an oil-based lubricant, however, can be used only when you’re not using a condom. It means that if you use the wrong lubricant while using a condom, it will break more easily.

Oil-based lubricants or lotion products can cause condoms to crack. If you don't want that to happen, don't use these products. Make sure to avoid petroleum jelly, baby oil, coconut oil, or body lotions as well. 

You Stored Them in the Wrong Place

Although the condom package is quite sturdy, you can’t keep it wherever you want. Many people tend to keep a condom or two in their wallets, but it is not a good idea. For instance, when they stay in a place where there’s more than 86 degrees Fahrenheit, they are prone to breakage as the high temperature can cause latex to damage.

It would help if you stored condoms in a cool, dark place like you do with most medicines. If you keep them in your wallet or car, heat can damage the structure of latex as a material, so you don't notice it until it breaks during sex.

Two Isn’t a Good Idea

Except for all of the above issues, condoms sometimes break because of the fear that one will not suffice. Some people put two condoms when they are not sure that one condom will do a good job. It is not a good idea, either.

The fiction about the effectiveness of two condoms is utter nonsense, as friction can cause both pieces to break or slip off.

You Don’t Use Them Properly

Imagine the following - you and your partner are trying to have sex; clothes fall completely from you; the atmosphere is nice; your body tingles with heat, and you suddenly remember to put on a condom. You are in a hurry not to break the atmosphere and do not place the condom properly. What happens? It falls off quickly. 

Moreover, if you aren’t careful, you can brush it with your teeth as you open the wrapper and make a hole in it.

Therefore, it is very important to be slow while setting the condom as well as opening it. If you do not allow yourself enough time to place the condom properly, it is more likely that it will fall, slip or break. So it's not a bad idea to have a spare with you, but first, make sure to slow down and enjoy the process. You don’t have to hurry but instead, show your partner you care about contraception and your health.

Did You Ever Experience a Condom Breaking?

Now that you know about every possible situation where condoms can break, it’s time to be more careful when you’re either buying or using them. Since it happens frequently, we want to know whether you experienced a condom breaking and why it happened. Let us know in the comments below.

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