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What do I do if a condom breaks?

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Answer

Don’t panic! Accidents happen, so try not to blame each other. If a condom breaks or slips off during a service:

  • stop the service
  • try to remain calm
  • look for the condom (is it still on the client’s penis, or has it disappeared inside you?)
  • follow the advice below depending on the service
  • seek PEP services if there is a risk for HIV transmission (more information on PEP can be found here)
  • go for an STI check after seven days, or earlier if symptoms develop.

A woman having vaginal sex should:

  • urinate to clear your urethra
  • remove excess semen by squatting down and squeezing with your vaginal muscles
  • wash the outside of your genitals by splashing them with water
  • not douche or wash inside your vagina because this can push any sperm and bacteria into the cervix, which is more likely to result in a pregnancy or STI. Douching also alters the useful bacteria that protects your vagina from infection
  • get emergency contraception—such as the morning after pill—if no other contraception is being used. Emergency contraception is available at the chemist, or contact your sexual health clinic or doctor.

A person receiving anal sex should:

  • sit on the toilet and bear down to remove as much semen as possible
  • not douche because this can create tears in the anus and increase the likelihood of STI infection including HIV.

A person giving anal sex should:

  • wash the genital area thoroughly, particularly under the foreskin
  • urinate.

A person giving oral sex should:

  • spit out any semen quickly, or swallow it immediately—do not let it stay in your mouth
  • rinse and spit using water
  • not brush or floss the teeth for at least one hour after the service.

A man receiving oral sex should:

  • urinate immediately and wash the penis thoroughly, particularly under the foreskin.
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