Sexpert Q&A: How to Properly Put on a Condom

Dear Yvonne, My girlfriend and I have had sex a few times and it seems every time we do it missionary-style, the condom breaks. Is this common or is there some way to prevent this? Any help would be greatly appreciated. -Marshall

Dear Marshall, Condoms can break for any of the following reasons: They're not being used correctly; they were manufactured improperly, they're past their expiration date or were damaged after manufacture. In most cases, breakage is due to human error, especially incorrect use, like not leaving a half-inch of space to collect semen at the tip or unrolling a condom the wrong way. Given this is a regular occurrence, it's likely that your condom breakage woes have more to do with the way this prophylactic is being put on versus any manufacturing problem.

To correctly put a condom on, do the following after checking the expiration date: 1. Make sure the condom is right side out.

2. Pinch an inch at the tip, especially if you're not using a reservoir-tip condom, so that the semen can be collected.

3. If you're uncircumcised, pull back the foreskin before unrolling the condom on.

4. Smooth the condom over your shaft to get rid of any air bubbles that can cause your condom to break.

Dr. Yvonne KristAn Fulbright is a sex educator, relationship expert, columnist and founder of

Sexuality Source Inc.

She is the author of several books including, "Touch Me There! A Hands-On Guide to Your Orgasmic Hot Spots."