You might've seen someone put a condom on a banana in middle school health class, but beyond that, we learn frighteningly little about how to use condoms. So, we probably shouldn't be surprised that over the course of a month, 29 percent of people who recently used a condom had some sort of problem with it, according to a recent National Center for Health Statistics report. That's pretty frightening: How are we supposed to prevent pregnancy if a third of us are regularly having issues with the very thing that's supposed to do that?
"Unless a parent/guardian, teacher, or healthcare worker intentionally spent time going through the steps with us (or if we’ve sought out help on our own), we’ve sort of been left to our own devices to figure [condoms] out on our own, often learning from the mistakes we’ve already made," sex educator Anne Hodder, ACS tells Bustle. And learning from your mistakes is fine, except when those mistakes can cause you to get pregnant or contract STIs. In that case, it's probably in your best interest to get it right the first time.
Toward that end, here are some of the most common mistakes people make when they use condoms — and how to prevent them.