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CondomFilter: Leaking down at the base?
July 5, 2007 7:36 PM   Subscribe

CondomFilter: What are the chances of a condom leaking down at the base?

I recently started trying out Trojan Elexa condoms, and noticed that they are a little loose around the base. (Particularly since they have a tendency to unroll during use and leave a lot of the condom bunched up near the top [which is nice, unless it makes the condom kind of useless from a contraceptive standpoint])

Assuming I adhere to proper condom use procedure and hold the condom on as I withdraw, what are the chances of semen leaking out before that and causing a pregnancy? If basically nil, why not? Seems like it shouldn't be too hard to force liquid out of the slightly stretched latex band at the bottom, and it seems like sex is just about the right set of motions to put that to the test.

(Switching from Durex ultra sensitive, have average-sized penis, if relevant.)
posted by anonymous to Human Relations (6 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
 
I would think it's pretty low, if you leave enough room in the tip for the ejaculate, and you pull out immediately after finishing and are careful about it.

I don't think that the 'ring' part of a condom is really meant to be constrictive and hold anything in; I think the ejaculate is supposed to basically stay in the tip just by surface tension and gravity (assuming you're oriented so the tip of the condom is down, that is...).

There are a lot of factors that seem like they could come into play, which is one of the reasons why I've personally never liked relying solely on condoms for pregnancy prevention, but I can't think it's that major of a risk or it would show up in the effectiveness statistics for their use.
posted by Kadin2048 at 8:03 PM on July 5, 2007


I think two things - find a better fitting condom and allow more space at the tip when you put the condom on. We've used both the Trojan and the Durex non-latex condoms and my SO doesn't experience the sort of rolling up the shaft that you describe, even during particularly vigorous sex.

Seconding spermicidal lube to be on the safe side.
posted by TryTheTilapia at 8:33 PM on July 5, 2007


Watch the spermicidal lube... many people are allergic to it. There are lots of sensitive parts to have allergic reactions. Not fun.

I'd see if your girlfriend is willing to try hormonal contraception (works for some people, not for others) or see if you can switch to another barrier method.
posted by olinerd at 11:48 PM on July 5, 2007


I think that the risk of wearing an ill-fitting condom is less "will the semen leak out at the base," and more "oops, the condom slipped entirely off right before I came."

I think you need to try another brand/style of condoms. Condomania has assortments, and lets you shop by size as well; there are plenty of other online retailers with good selections. Different brands of condoms fit (and feel) really different, and it takes some experimenting to find what works the best from you. They shouldn't be loose enough to slide up (which as you note, may feel really nice but isn't great in terms of doing what the condom is supposed to do -- if you want more of that, look into hormonal options, or diaphragms, etc) nor so tight as to cause discomfort.
posted by Forktine at 5:43 AM on July 6, 2007


Relying on just one form of birth control is always risky. Two is better than one. Try condoms + diaphragm, condoms + sponge, condoms + hormonal options.
posted by mylittlehipster at 7:55 AM on July 6, 2007


Regarding spermicidal lubricant: "As far as spermicides are concerned, using spermicidal lube is generally no longer recommended. Spermicides alone not only provide minimal pregnancy protection, but nonoxynol-9 (N-9), found in many spermicides, can cause irritation and possibly facilitate HIV transmission. Spermicidal lubes may be a safer option for couples who are monogamous and have little reason to be worried about HIV/STI transmission; for others, choosing a spermicide-free lube may be preferable. When choosing a lube, pick water-soluble, not oil-based, ones, to prevent deterioration of the latex in condoms." (via Go Ask Alice)

Also, I know that the Trojans with spermicidal lube recommend not using more than one a day. You should probably just find condoms that fit you properly to be truly safe. Toys in Babeland also has a great selection of condoms, along with shopping advice.
posted by youarenothere at 5:38 PM on July 6, 2007


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