My partner's condom keeps coming off inside me — why?

Originally Published: November 16, 2001 - Last Updated / Reviewed On: March 18, 2014
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Alice,

Quite often when my boyfriend and I have sex, the condom disappears into my vagina. As you can imagine, it is extremely mood killing and a little disconcerting for me to have to reach up there and find it. I read your response to another couple with the same problem, and we'll definitely make sure to hold onto the condom before pulling out. I use Depo-Provera (so the condom is used just to be extra sure), so I'm not particularly worried about pregnancy. What I would like to know, though, is why this happens to us so often? I've never lost condoms with any other partners. I also have the feeling sometimes that it might be coming off before ejaculation. This seems to happen quite frequently (one out of every two or three times we have sex). It's kind of frustrating. Is there anything else we could do differently?

Dear Reader,

A condom that continuously slip-slides away can be frustrating, especially if it keeps killing the mood. Fortunately there are a few things you can troubleshoot to get to the root of the problem.

Condom slippage can be caused by a few different factors including condom size (length and width), lubrication, and usage. First off, next time your partner puts on a condom you might want to check the fit. Is the condom snug around the shaft of the penis? Did your boyfriend roll the condom down all of the way? Is there extra latex hanging or bunched up? They don't call it a "love glove" for nothing; the condom shouldn't slide around on him while he's sliding around in you, so make it sure it fits like a glove. Keep in mind that brands and styles of condoms are varied. Perhaps sampling a few to see which ones provide a better fit may be helpful, and fun.

Secondly, wet can be wild, but too much lube could be your problem. If you're putting lubricant inside the condom, try putting a little less in there (just at the tip), or go without lube on the inside altogether. You may want to consider buying un-lubed condoms and using lube only on the outside. Additionally, since you mention you are on Depo, it's possible that vaginal dryness, commonly experienced by women on Depo, could cause a pulling effect on the condom as you and your partner are moving back and forth, to and fro. If this is the case, more lubrication could be in order.

Another thing to consider is your position during sex. Have you noticed that the condom escapes only when you and your partner are in certain positions? If he were on his back when you make love, for example, would the condom be less likely to come off? Trying a number of positions to see what keeps the condom in place may not only help you diagnose the problem; it could spice up your routine as well.

Condoms are made to fit tightly on an erect penis, so another thing to check is whether your boyfriend is keeping his erection during sex. Erections can come and go (perfectly normal, by the way); if this is the case, the condom may loosen its grip and slip off. A smaller sized condom may be appropriate so that he doesn't slip out during a lull in erection. Saying and doing things that will maintain arousal during sex may also help in this situation.

Lastly, although it can be challenging to talk about this stuff, the best way to figure out what's going on with your boyfriend down there may be asking him what he thinks is causing the problem. It's possible that he knows what the difficulty is, but is embarrassed to tell you, or assumes you already know. Never underestimate the power of open, honest communication.

Hopefully your sleuthing will be successful and you'll enjoy the detective work in the mean time!

Alice