Broken condom

A condom that breaks during sex is very frustrating and creates immediate stress as it puts you at risk of contracting an STI or falling pregnant.

What to do when a condom breaks?

When that happens, it’s quite scary. A torn condom may slip off the penis and become dislodged in the vagina or anus.

What should you do if the condom breaks or slips off in the vagina?
  • Stay calm.
  • Go to the toilet as soon as possible and try to urinate. Any bacteria will leave the vagina that way.
  • Then rinse only the outside of the vagina, not the inside. This way, no bacteria will enter the vagina.
  • If you are not on contraception, take the morning-after pill as soon as possible. You have to take it (Norlevo®) within 72 hours. The Ella-One© morning-after pill can be taken up to five days (120 hours) after a broken condom. But, the sooner, the better.
  • Contact ACS or the Centre for Sexual Health (GGD Amsterdam) to schedule for an STIs. Our advice for testing is to wait at least 7 days after the broken condom as it may be too early to test beforehand.


What should you do if the condom breaks or slips off during anal sex?
  • Don’t panic.
  • Do not anal flush. This may allow sperm to travel deeper into the intestinal tract or tear the tissue, increasing the risk of HIV infection.
  • If you are not taking PrEP (Pre Exposure Prophylaxis) medication, contact ACS (020-5318600) or the Centre for Sexual Health (GGD Amsterdam) by phone. Please go to the emergency department at your nearest hospital if this happens on the weekend. A doctor can then assess if you need PEP (Post Exposure Prophylaxis) treatment. If you do already take PrEP medication, get tested for STIsat least 7 days later.

How to prevent a broken condom?

If the vagina is dry, intercourse can be painful and cause a condom to break. Using lubricant will prevent a condom from tearing or sticking. When having anal sex, you should use extra lubricant. Use a water-based lubricant when having vaginal sex. When having anal sex, a silicone-based lubricant is better as it doesn’t dry up as quick as water-based lubricants will. Do not use saliva—this dries up far too quickly. Do not use a lubricant that contains Vaseline or (massage) oil as these greasy substances can break the condom.

If you often encounted a broken condom, the sexuality clinic at ACS can demonstrate proper use of a condom to you.

How do you properly use a condom?


1. Make sure you have some good condoms. The CE logo will be displayed clearly on the packaging.
2. Just like different penis sizes, there are also different condom sizes. Therefore, make sure you always a variety of sizes available.
3. Always check the expiry date.

During sex:

4. Make sure there is no contact between penis and vagina, mouth or anus before putting on the condom.
5. Carefully tear open the packaging of the condom. Do not use teeth or scissors. Use the perforated edges of the packet.
6. Hold the tip of the condom between your thumb and forefinger. This will prevent air from entering the condom. Avoid touching the condom with your fingernails as they may tear the condom.

7. Place the condom on only when your client has a good erection. If necessary, pull the foreskin down. You should still have the tip of the condom between your thumb and forefinger. Note that the condom rim should be on the outside. Otherwise, you won’t be able to unroll it. Then use your other hand to unroll the condom as far down as possible.
8. Use enough lubricant (if the condom fits snugly around the penis).
9. Immediately after ejaculation, withdraw the penis from the vagina or anus. Do this before the penis becomes flaccid. Then tie a knot in the condom. Be careful not to get semen on your hands, as you may still infect yourself.
10. A condom is basically made for about 15 minutes of (penetrative) sex. After this, friction can cause the condom to break sooner.

If you have any questions, please visit us at ACS. We can demonstrate the proper use of a condom to you.

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