A condom serves a variety of purposes. Besides acting as a method to prevent pregnancy, a condom is also an important shield that can effectively prevent the transmission of sexually transmitted diseases (STDs). But what happens if a condom breaks during sexual intercourse, or if it accidentally slides off? Though such accidents are infrequent, there is a chance that they might occur, and being armed with the knowledge is crucial in the event you find yourself in such a situation. Here are three things you can do if you find out your condom has broken.
Assess the situation
When the condom breaks, what is the situation? Is the condom still on the penis or has it disappeared into the vagina or rectum? Did the condom break after ejaculation, or before ejaculation? Depending on the conditions when the condom breaks, different precautions have to be taken.
If the condom broke before ejaculation, immediately stop having sex and dispose of the condom. Then, consider whether you and your partner are at risk of unplanned pregnancy or STDs. If you are, then you may have to take additional precautions to prevent these outcomes.
If the condom broke after ejaculation, then it is likely that a significant amount of seminal fluids has already entered the vagina or rectum. In such a situation, the receiving partner should immediately attempt to expel the semen. For women, semen may be expelled from the vagina by squatting and pushing using vaginal muscles, as if trying to have a bowel movement. For both men and women who had receptive anal sex, it is recommended to sit down on a toilet bowl and discharge semen and other fluids by simply bearing down.
If you believe that you or your partner are at risk of contracting HIV, you should immediately head to an open HIV clinic. There, explain to the doctor and/or nurse what happened and they may be able to start a treatment to prevent HIV infection called Post Exposure Prophylaxis (PEP), a 28-day course of anti-retroviral medication that can prevent HIV from infecting your body. After which, you will likely need to take HIV tests to ensure the medication has worked. PEP is only effective within 72 hours after exposure to HIV, but the earlier you begin treatment, the more likely it is to work in full effect.
Emergency contraception is available for women who suspect that they may be pregnant as a result of condom breakage. The so-called “morning after” pills can be quite effective. In Singapore, these emergency contraception can only be prescribed by a doctor, so you may have to consult a general practitioner (GP) and request for a prescription.
Condom breakage can be a stress-inducing accident. To prevent condoms from breaking, you should always ensure that you are using condoms properly, that the condom is not expired and that the condom is the appropriate size.