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Broken condoms

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What to do if a condom breaks

If the condom has broken or slipped off, you should:

  • stop the service immediately
  • follow the advice below depending on the service
  • seek PEP services if there is a risk for HIV transmission
  • 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 plain water
  • do 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 over the counter at the chemist, or contact your Sexual Health Clinic or doctor
  • have an STI check up. Some genital infections such as chlamydia and gonorrhoea can be tested for within a week. Others such as HIV, hepatitis B and syphilis can usually be done at your next regular check-up.

A person receiving anal sex (Greek) should:

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

A person giving anal sex should:

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

A person giving oral sex (giving head) 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 or eat 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.

If a condom breaks during non-penetrative sex a person should:

  • use warm soapy water to wash any area the penis has touched or where there is sperm.