There are various types of birth control available to couples wanting to avoid pregnancy. Of all of these methods only
condoms offer a high degree of protection against infection by HIV and other STDs (Sexually Transmitted Diseases) at the same time as providing highly effective prevention of unwanted pregnancy.
But just how effective are condoms at preventing pregnancy, and what are some of the factors that have a bearing on their effectivenesss?
Effectiveness of Condoms in Preventing Unintended or Unwanted Pregnancy buy condoms
When determining condom effectiveness, it is important to recognize that, as with all methods of contraception,
the effectivness of condoms decreases when they are not used correctly. According to one large study, “In one year, only two of every 100 couples who use condoms consistently and correctly will experience an unintended pregnancy – two pregnancies arising from an estimated 8,300 acts of sexual intercourse, for a 0.02 percent per-condom pregnancy rate.”
Other studies that do not measure for incorrect use, but only for “regular use”, indicate that the pregnancy rate may be as high as 15% of couples. But this number is skewed because it includes improper use. The main reason that condoms sometimes fail to prevent pregnancy is incorrect or inconsistent use, not the failure of the condom itself.
These studies just ask women how often they have become pregnant when their partners use condoms. But the “failure rate” derived from these statistics includes cases of incorrect usage, tearing due to mishandling of the condom or rough sexual practices, or even where the couple did not use a condom every time they had sex.
So it is worth repeating. When condoms are used consistently and correctly they have a very high prevention rate — between 97% and 99%. But they must be used “consistently and correctly” in order to be this effective.
Ways to Prevent Condom “Failure”
Here is what you must do to insure you are getting the best protection possible from condoms:
Use a condom every time you have sex.
The condom must be applied as soon as erection occurs and before any sexual contact (vaginal, anal or oral).
Be sure not to tear the condom with teeth or fingernails.
Do not use oil-based lubricants such as petroleum jelly (vaseline), cold cream, hand lotion or baby oil, since it can weaken the latex.
Withdraw from the partner immediately after ejaculation, holding the condom firmly to keep it from slipping off.
Some other Condom Considerations
When you buy condoms, read the label. Tests have shown that latex condoms are more likely to give you the added side benefit of preventing the passage of STDs. High quality condoms will be in a package that says the condoms are effective in preventing disease. If the package doesn’t say anything about preventing disease, the condoms may not provide the protection you want, even though they may be the most expensive ones you can buy.
Novelty condoms (flavored, textured, etc.) are intended primarily for sexual stimulation, not protection. Again, read the label. If it does not say anything about either disease prevention or pregnancy prevention on the package, then it will not be as effective a barrier against pregnancy and disease.
For proper protection, a condom must unroll to cover the entire penis. Condoms which do not cover the entire penis will not give you maximum protection. This is another good reason to read the label carefully.
Female condoms, while reasonably effective, are not quite as good as male condoms.
Although using spermicide by itself (without a condom) is not a very effective way to prevent pregnancy, using condoms that have spermicide added increases their effectiveness.
Condoms available from vending machines are not always of top quality. Look for brand names, and read the label carefully.
Bright sunlight and heat can weaken the latex, so store them away from sunlight and in a cool place.
Where should I buy condoms?
If you are buying online, make sure the online store carries a broad range of name brand condoms, contains helpful information about condoms, and is reachable by phone so you can talk to a real person. The best advice is to buy from an established source that deals only in name brand products.