If a condom splits you should consider 2 things:
• A risk of pregnancy.
• Risk of infections.
To protect against pregnancy a woman can get emergency contraception. There are 2 types:
• Emergency Hormonal Contraception, (EHC) (commonly known as the “morning after pill”)
• Emergency IUD (Coil)
EHC can be taken up to 72 hours after sex although it is far more effective the sooner it is taken the sooner the better. A woman can get it free from several different places; check out Contraception Services.
The emergency IUD is more effective and can be kept in as long-term contraception, this must be fitted by a specialist, check out Contraception Services.
Whether you are male or female you should consider infection risk. Remember, you won’t always get symptoms so don’t think because everything appears ok, it is ok! 2-3 weeks after the condom broke, pay a visit to your local GUM, if you have Gonorrhoea or Chlamydia it will be diagnosed and treated without causing further damage to your body. Don’t forget to re-test for Syphilis and HIV 3 months after the condom broke as it takes longer for these to be able to be diagnosed.
Check out Contraception Services for your nearest GUM.
If you don’t use a condom or don’t use it correctly, you are at risk of several things. If you are a man who has sex with women or a woman who has sex with men and no other form of contraception is used, i.e. the pill, injection, etc, then there is a risk of pregnancy.
Ask yourself…”Do I want to become a mum/dad yet?” If the answer to that is “No”, use a condom and ensure you have been taught to use it properly. (See How To Put on a Condom).
If you register onto the scheme you will be taught this during your registration. Most condoms split because they are not used properly.
Whether you have sex with men, women or both, you are still at risk from getting a sexually transmitted infection. Using a condom correctly will protect you against most infections. If you don’t use a condom you risk getting Chlamydia, Gonorrhoea, Syphilis or HIV. Remember, there is no cure for HIV so your only protection against it is to use a condom.
BE AWARE…you can have an STI without producing symptoms! ALWAYS get screened for infections if you have sex without a condom, including oral sex, the condom splits or comes off.
If you do develop symptoms, the most common are:
• An abnormal discharge
• Pain when you pee
• Redness or soreness around your genitals
• Women may bleed between periods
• Pain during sex
If you notice anything different on or around your genitals that you are worried about, like an unusual lump, sore, rash, etc. visit the GUM to get it checked out.
• Genital warts can look like a cauliflower in appearance
• Genital Herpes produce painful ulcers
• Syphilis can produce a painless sore in the first stage and a rash across your whole body, including palms of your hands and soles of your feet in the second stage
If you are concerned about something get it checked. Remember, the symptoms may disappear on their own, e.g. Syphilis sores will disappear without treatment but the Syphilis infection will still be around and can cause long-term damage, so don’t think it has gone away or been cured, it hasn’t, it still needs treating and the earlier you get treatment, the less risk of permanent damage.
When in doubt, check it out!! Check out Contraception Services for your local GUM.
The scheme is very useful for young lads! Once you are registered it is a quick and easy process to get your supplies without too much hassle and what’s more…the condoms and lubes are free. Don’t rely on your partner to bring the condoms, protect yourself and your partner by ensuring you have your own supply as and when you need them.
In most cases what you say to the worker will be kept private and confidential whatever age you are.
However, there may be an occasion when you disclose something about your or someone else’s safety that may concern the worker and he or she may have to discuss this with another professional and may have to involve others, such as Social Care or the police. This is for the protection of the person at risk from harm. The worker will try to ensure the person at risk is involved in their protection process. However, this may not always be possible, for example, if by involving the person at risk it further endangers them, they will be protected and not informed of the process.
Look out for the C-Card symbol, this will be displayed in the window of the service, if it says “registration point” on the bottom of the window sticker, you can get registered there. All the workers who register young people are trained to work with you, so you should feel comfortable talking about sensitive issues. Check out the list of registration points for your nearest venue.
Remember, what you say to the worker will stay between the two of you unless the worker is worried about your safety, then they will discuss this with you and work with you and other professionals to ensure you are protected.