Polk County Health Department

How to use a condom

  • Use condoms whenever you have sexual intercourse, oral sex or anal sex.
  • You can put a condom on your partner’s penis as part of your lovemaking.
  • Put the condom on as soon as the man’s penis is hard (erect) - before he has close contact or enters his partner.
    • Unwrap a new condom. Be careful not to poke a hole in it with your fingernails.
    • Hold the tip of the condom to squeeze out the air. This leaves room for the semen when the man comes (ejaculates).
    • If the man has not been circumcised, pull down the loose skin from the head of the penis.
    • Keep on holding the tip of the condom. Unroll it onto the erect penis, all the way down to the hair.
    • You can use a lubricant like a birth control foam or jelly, or a personal lubricant like water based K-Y Jelly. Never use Vaseline, grease, hand lotion, baby oil or anything with oil in it. They can make the condom weak, so that it breaks. If you are not sure whether a lubricant has oil in it, read the label.
    • After the man comes (ejaculates) he should hold onto the condom and pull out while is penis is still hard. This will keep his semen from spilling out of the condom.
    • Take off the condom and throw it away. Use a new condom each time you have sexual intercourse, oral sex or anal sex.

Buying Condoms:

  • Buy latex (rubber) condoms. Look for the date they expire, which should be printed on the package or on the condom wrapper. Condoms come in various sizes and colors, and dry, or with lubricant. You can experiment to find the kind of condoms you like to use.

Storing Condoms:

  • Keep the condoms wrapped in their original package until you are ready to use them. When you open the package, check the rubber for stiffness, cracking or stickiness. These signs mean that the rubber has weakened, and you should throw it away.

Contact Us

Phone: (515)-286-3798
Fax: (515)-286-2033
Toll free: 866-209-1300

Address: 1907, Carpenter Avenue
Des Moines, IA 50314