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Out of all the awful things that can happen during sex, having the condom break is probably the worst. It’s worse than someone pulling a back muscle and it’s even worse than having someone walking in on you while you’re getting it on.

If a condom breaks, you don’t just shrug and forget about it. You need to act. And in a lot of cases, you need to act quickly. That’s why it’s important to know what to do ahead of time. That way, if a condom ever does break, you can spring into action as opposed to researching what you need to do. Here’s what to do if a condom breaks during sex:

I’m getting worried. What are the chances of a condom actually breaking?

Condoms have been made to withstand a lot. You might have seen some of the YouTube videos which aim to demonstrate how strong they are. Of course, nothing is 100 percent safe. There’s always a chance a condom could break or rip. The thing to be aware of is that the odds are very small, according to Planned Parenthood.

How do I stop a condom from breaking?

One thing is to use a good quality water-based or silicon-based lube. This will reduce the friction making the chances of the condom breaking less likely. What’s more, it will also make for a more enjoyable experience for you and bae.

Another thing is to make sure that you check the expiration on condoms. (Yes, they do expire and you should pay attention to when they do.) Secondly, make sure you’re storing condoms in a cool, dry place. That doesn’t mean in hot cars, you pant pocket, or in your bag next to your thermos.

It may sound obvious, but be careful when you’re opening a condom. Opening it with teeth or long finger nails could weaken it. Or, you could actually nick the rubber which will then make the condom more likely to split.

Anything else?

Make sure that bae is actually wearing the condom properly. That means rolling it on in the correct manner and ensuring that there is space at the tip to collect semen. Oh, and make sure dude is wearing the right size. If it’s too tight or small, the chances of that condom breaking are higher.

Help! The condom did break. What do I do?!

First of all, try and relax. If you’re freaked out, it will be harder to think rationally. If condoms are your only form of protection and you’re not on The Pill, have an IUD or the ring, etc. you might want to consider taking emergency birth control, like Plan B. This is critical if your guy ejaculated in or even around your vag you after the condom broke. Be aware that you should take emergency birth control ASAP as the sooner you do, the more effective is. There’s also a time limit. Three days is when it’s most effective. You can push it for five, but it’s less effective. After that, you’re going to have to speak to your doctor about what to do.

Is there anything else I should do?

You and your partner might want to consider getting tested for STDs. This is especially important if you’ve both never been tested since hooking up and you’re not in a monogamous relationship.

You might also want to make preventive plans for the future. To ensure this doesn’t happen again, you could look into going on another form of birth control like the patch or The Pill. Speak to your doctor about what is right for you.

Have you ever had a condom break or come off? Let us know in the comments!

You can follow the author, Heather Cichowski, on Twitter.

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