Why Condoms Break: A Closer Look At The Factors Involved

We will be exploring the various factors that can cause condoms to break and how to prevent such situations from happening.

Published Jul 06 2023 3 min read

Condoms are an essential tool for safe sex and the prevention of sexually transmitted infections (STIs) and unwanted pregnancies. However, sometimes condoms break, which can lead to unplanned consequences. The best way to prevent this is to understand how and why condoms break. To help you out, we will be exploring the various factors that can cause condoms to break and how to prevent such situations from happening. 

1. Poor-quality condoms

The quality of the condom is one of the main factors that can cause it to break. Poorly manufactured condoms can have weak points in the material, making them more prone to breakage. To ensure that you’re using high-quality condoms, it’s essential to purchase them from reputable brands and stores. It's also important to check the expiration date before purchasing or using condoms. Expired condoms can be brittle and more prone to breakage. 

2. Incorrect storage

Condoms should be stored in a cool, dry place away from direct sunlight. When condoms are exposed to heat, moisture or sunlight, the material can weaken, making them more likely to break during use. Therefore, it’s important to store condoms in a cool, dry environment to ensure that they remain in good condition. 

3. Wrong lubricant

Lubricants can make sexual activity more comfortable and pleasurable for both partners. However, not all lubricants are compatible with condoms. Oil-based lubricants such as lotions, Vaseline, and cooking oil can weaken the material of the condom and cause it to break. Instead, it’s recommended to use water-based lubricants for condoms. 

4. Incorrect use

Using a condom correctly is crucial to prevent breakage during sexual activity. Firstly, it’s essential to ensure that the condom is the right size. A condom that is too tight or too loose can cause it to slip off or break. Secondly, it's important to check the condom for any visible damage or holes before use. Thirdly, the condom should be unrolled all the way to the base of the penis, leaving no space for semen to leak out.  

5. Rough sex

During rough sex, the friction and pressure can cause the condom to break. To prevent this from happening, it’s important to use a thicker or stronger condom. Some condoms are specifically designed for rough sex and are made of thicker material for added protection. It’s also important to communicate with your partner about the level of intensity during sexual activity to prevent any unexpected accidents. 

6. Expulsion of air

Sometimes, air can get trapped inside the condom during application, creating a bubble-like pocket. When pressure is applied during intercourse, the trapped air can cause the condom to break. To prevent this, it’s essential to squeeze the tip of the condom when applying it, allowing any trapped air to escape. 

7. Using more than one condom

Using more than one condom at a time may seem like a good idea for added protection, but it can actually increase the risk of breakage. The friction between two condoms can cause them to weaken and tear. Therefore, it’s recommended to use only one condom at a time. 


By understanding the various factors that can cause condom breakage, individuals can take steps to prevent such situations from happening. It’s important to use high-quality condoms, store them correctly, use a compatible lubricant, use condoms correctly, communicate with your partner about sexual intensity, prevent air expulsion, and use only one condom at a time. By taking these precautions, individuals can enjoy safe and pleasurable sexual experiences without any unexpected consequences. 

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