What do I do if a condom gets stuck?

Attractive woman in medical coat and glasses ready to answer sex related questions

Q: I recently had an experience where a condom fell off during sex. I was able to pull it out as it wasn’t too far in, but I have heard they can get lost inside you! Is this true? And if so, what do I do if it ever happens to me?

First and foremost I want to say that with vaginal sex a condom will never get “lost” in the same way it could with anal sex, but it can get stuck quite high inside the vagina and against the cervix which can make it incredibly hard to get out.

Different Pipes Go To Different Places!

Let me elaborate. As you may have read in some of our articles about both vaginal and anal sex there are some core differences between the two passages. The big difference we are talking about here is the fact that a vagina has a cervix and the butt passage does not. If you lose a condom up the butt and cannot get it out it is imperative to get to a doctor ASAP because the further it travels up inside you the more damage it can cause, and the harder it can be to eventually get it out.

A vagina, on the other hand, is a little bit different… The cervix is, in the most basic of terms, a kind of seal that cuts the vaginal tunnel off from the uterus. It has a teeny tiny hole that cannot allow anything the size of a condom inside it. It lets blood out during menstruation, and can grow in size to allow a baby to come out (I’m sure you’ve all heard of the cervix dilating), but other than that it’s shut tight and a condom cannot ever pass through it. Even if, like me, you’ve had a full hysterectomy and no longer have a cervix, they sort of create one after they take all your bits out so it has the same effect of not allowing anything to enter the body beyond the vagina. 

With that in mind, I should also mention that, depending on when during sex the condom fell off, it will be easier or harder to retrieve. If it’s happened right at the end of sex, or noticed straight away, it’s probably not going to be too far in and you may even be able to see it coming out of the bottom of your vagina which is super easy to grab and pull out, but if it has happened early on and not been noticed*, the act of sexual intercourse and moving the penis in and out could have the effect of pushing it higher and higher into the vagina until it is resting just outside the cervix and scrunched up against the walls. This makes it SUPER tricky to get out because quite often your fingers aren’t quite long enough, and it can sort of “blend in” with the feeling of those soft vaginal walls and become almost indistinguishable.

Try to relax

The first thing to do when you realise a condom has come off during sex is to stop fucking immediately, lie back, relax your body and try and pull it out with your hands. I will admit it is not easy to relax your body while also trying to contort it to get your hands up inside yourself, (and I should also mention if there’s been ejaculation it will also feel a bit gooey and icky inside there) but it is definitely easier when you do. Move your hands and fingers around and have a bit of a search to see if you can feel it and, if you do, grab onto it and pull gently. It can help to have the person who left it in there try and get down and help too, considering they have a slightly better angle and view in which to do so, but if for whatever reason it’s not possible to ask them, the next best thing is to get into a squat position and try searching again. It can be hard work, I’m not gonna lie, and you can get a bit frustrated, but whatever you do, even if you’ve been searching for an hour, DO NOT USE ANYTHING BUT YOUR HANDS TO TRY AND RETRIEVE IT. I really, really don’t need to go into details, but I have seen some horrifically frightening results of what happens when someone has tried to retrieve a lost condom or sponge with something like a pair of kitchen tongs. Seriously. Do not do this please, for the love of your vagina and your body and your overall health. If it’s getting to the point that you feel like you will never find it and it is gone forever, it is time to go and see a doctor who will be able to retrieve it easily, and safely, and also help you with the follow up which you need to do even if you’ve managed to get it out yourself.

The Follow Up

So it’s out! Phew! What do you do now? Well look, if you’re not too traumatised and exhausted from the retrieval process you could probably sheath up and start again, but it is also okay to just stop altogether, put it down to experience and try again another day. What you must do, however, preferably as soon as you physically can, is (both of you) go to the doctors or sexual health clinic and get and STI test and, if you’re a person with a uterus (even if you’re on other forms of birth control, and even if there was no ejaculation), get the morning after pill. It’s easy to get, mostly free or very low cost, and can be taken up to 72 hours after having sex. You may also need to do a follow up test, as some infections can take a while to show up, but your doctor will advise you of the best way to go next.

The most important thing to remember is not to panic. Sex is one of those activities that is full of risks, and as a mature, responsible sexual person, it is important to understand those risks and do everything you can to minimise them, and even then, because life is a crazy thing that throws us through loops all the time, no matter how much you prepare, something might go wrong and that’s okay, it just means a few extra steps are needed and you should never feel ashamed or embarrassed if you need to take them.

Good luck, happy condom hunting, and be safe!

*I feel I need to say this. In all the times I have had sex, and in the thousands of conversations I have about sex, most men reckon they can feel it when it has slipped off, and so those who keep fucking when they know it has come off are, to be blunt, not good guys. This is actually a form of stealthing and is a type of assault. I do concede, however, that there are times it’s not felt and so there is a really fine line between how to react, but it definitely needs to be said... If you are a penis owner and you feel a condom slipping off or breaking or completely coming off during sex you must stop immediately, let your sex partner know, and then follow the steps to retrieve it, replace it, and then follow up with STI/Pregnancy risk reduction as soon as possible.

7 comments

  • xpac1954

    xpac1954

    More than a month ago

    Great comment slipperupone

    Reply
  • Photos in private gallery

    NursenDoctor

    More than a month ago

    A light bulb was the trickiest one I’ve seen.

    Reply
  • Vvverybusty

    Vvverybusty

    More than a month ago

    Hot baths and overnight it usually comes down

    Reply
  • Zamboon
    Online status icon

    Zamboon

    More than a month ago

    Great article- should be read by everyone- a friend of mine lost a small torch up her anus - it was no joke because with the panic the muscles around the anus went into spasm - she decided to go to the hospital in the next town 30 kms away as she was from a small town and worried rightly so that word would get out ... it happens believe me!

    • AMM.Editor

      AMM.Editor

      More than a month ago

      This is why Eva always says in her articles you don't put anything up your anus unless it's designed for that purpose with a flange to stop this happening.

    • Zamboon
      Online status icon

      Zamboon

      More than a month ago

      Yes indeed a pity the torch didn’t have a wrist strap on it ..

    • Slipperupone

      Account Closed

      More than a month ago

      Illuminating article....did she see the light

    Reply
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