There are numerous types of birth control available to couples wishing 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 precisely how effective are condoms at avoiding pregnancy, and what are some of the factors that have a bearing on their effectivenesss?
Effectiveness of Condoms in Preventing Unintended or Unwanted Pregnancy
When determining condom effectiveness, it is important to recognize that, as with all methods of contraception,
the effectivness of condoms decreases whenever they are not used correctly. According to a single large study, “In one year, only two of every 100 couples who else 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 research 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. Yet this number is skewed since it includes improper use. The main reason that condoms sometimes fail to prevent being pregnant is incorrect or inconsistent use, not the failure of the condom itself.
These studies just ask women how often they have get 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 methods, or even where the couple did not work with a condom every time they had sex.
Therefore it is worth repeating. When condoms are used consistently and correctly they have an extremely high prevention rate — in between 97% and 99%.
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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 might be getting the best protection possible through condoms:
Use a condom every time you might have sex.
The condom must be applied as soon as erection occurs and prior to any sexual contact (vaginal, anal or oral).
Be sure not to rip the condom with teeth or even fingernails.
Do not use oil-based lubricants such as petroleum jelly (vaseline), cool cream, hand lotion or child oil, since it can weaken the particular latex.
Withdraw from the partner immediately after ejaculation, holding the condom strongly to keep it from slipping off.
Various other Condom Considerations
When you buy condoms, read the label. Tests have shown that latex condoms are more likely to give you the additional 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 at all about preventing disease, the condoms may not provide the protection you want, despite the fact that they may be the most expensive ones you can buy.
Novelty condoms (flavored, textured, etc . ) are intended primarily for sexual arousal, not protection. Again, read the tag. If it does not say anything regarding either disease prevention or maternity prevention on the package, then it will never be as effective a barrier towards pregnancy and disease.
For correct protection, a condom must unfold to cover the entire penis. Condoms which usually do not cover the entire penis is not going to give you maximum protection. This is great reason to read the label thoroughly.
Female condoms, while reasonably efficient, are not quite as good as male condoms.
Although using spermicide by itself (without a condom) is not a very effective method to prevent pregnancy, using condoms which have spermicide added increases their performance.
Condoms available from vending devices 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 very good place.
Where should I buy condoms?
If you are buying online, make sure the web store carries a broad range of name brand condoms, contains helpful information about condoms, and it is reachable by phone so you can speak with a real person. The best advice is to buy from an established source that offers only in name brand products.