My boyfriend and I don’t typically use condoms anymore, but the few times we have used them recently, they’ve broken. The last time it happened was two months ago and I’ve had my period since the incident. This has happened a hand full of times. Could one of us be sterile?

We can’t tell over the Internet whether you or your boyfriend is infertile. But we can tell you that if you don’t want to get pregnant, you need to use birth control. Even though it hasn’t happened yet, there’s a strong chance you could still get pregnant from unprotected sex.  Within a monthly cycle there are only a handful of days where pregnancy can happen (when you’re ovulating).  But it’s really hard to predict when those days will be, and they can change month to month.  Since you can’t know for sure, you need to use birth control every time you have sex so you know you’re always protected.

If you’re using condoms correctly, they shouldn’t be breaking so often. Adding a little water-based lubricant can reduce friction and keep condoms from breaking. You and your boyfriend could also try experimenting with different sizes and styles of condoms — bigger and/or pre-lubricated condoms might work better. Using condoms is always a good idea, since they can reduce the risk of pregnancy and STDs. But using an additional form of birth control — like the pill or the IUD — will offer even more protection against pregnancy.

The staff at your local Planned Parenthood health center can help you figure out which birth control method is right for you.