Condoms are one of the best and most popular ways to prevent pregnancy and reduce the risk of sexually transmitted infections (STIs).

But while many people believe they know how to perfectly use the contraceptive, they still risk making mistakes.

These mistakes can not only increase your chances of unwanted pregnancy, but it can also expose you to several bacteria and viruses.

Having said that, here are some of the most common mistakes men make while using a condom.

1. Not checking expiry date of the condom

Just like every other perishable object, condoms can get expired and damaged too. Every condom has an expiry date, which people usually miss. This can be a huge mistake as expired condoms often lead to breakages and tears, not only increasing your chances of pregnancy, but also making you prone to infections. Therefore, before you buy a condom, check for the manufacturing and the validity date. Avoid stocking up on condoms as they may also expire.

2. Wearing the condom too early

Men need to know when they should put on a condom. It shouldn’t be too late after sex or too early, even before the penis is erect. In case you put it on before reaching an erection, there’s a high likelihood that you haven’t worn it correctly. This can further raise your risk of STIs and also increase your chances of pregnancy.

3. Size matters

Condoms come in all sizes, simply because it can influence your chances of getting pregnant or being exposed to viruses. How? Because wearing a condom that is too tight or too loose can lead to great disasters. For instance, if you wear a condom that is too tight, it can land up broken or damaged. Similarly, a very loose condom can slide off easily, failing to do its job.

4. Reusing a condom is not an option

Believe it or not, some men choose to reuse condoms, which is not at all advisable. Condoms are meant to be used once and not multiple times. Repeated use of condoms can leave it damaged and/or broken. That said, it is best to keep multiple condoms in hand and dispose of each condom after ejaculation.

5. Taking too long to take off the condom (post-ejaculation)

Once you have ejaculated, it is important to take off the condom as soon as possible. This is if you want to avoid spillage, which can happen once the erection has subsided. Men usually lose their erection soon after ejaculating and this can lead to the condom slipping off and spilling semen. To prevent that, take off the condom as soon as you’re done. Hold the base of the condom against the penis and pull both out before the erection is lost.