How effective are condoms? When used properly every single time condoms are 98% effective in preventing pregnancy and transmission of STD’s. However, people aren’t perfect and therefore don’t always follow proper instructions of using a condom. So, in actuality condoms are about 85% effective. Make sure you use condoms correctly every time for maximum protection.
How Effective Are Condoms Against Pregnancy and STD's?
You may have thought to yourself, are condoms effective against pregnancy and STD’s? The short answer is yes, condoms do work. They are a great way of inexpensive birth control and prevent the transmission of STD’s. However, it’s imperative that you use condoms properly for them to work best. When used properly every time condoms are 98% effective. Unfortunately, many people make mistakes when using condoms. First, you always want to make sure the condoms is not expired. If it is, just throw it away and get a new one. You also want to make sure you store your condoms properly. Keep them in a cool dry place where they aren’t handled a lot. DO NOT keep them in your wallet or car. You’ll also want to make sure you put the condom on before any sexual contact. Pre-ejaculate (pre cum) is common and even a tiny bit can transmit STD’s or cause pregnancy. Also, make sure to pinch the tip of the condom before application. This makes room for the semen when you ejaculate. As silly as it may sound, keep the condom on until you are finished, do not remove it early. If you accidently start to put on a condom inside out, start over with a new condom. And finally, make sure to use a new condom for each sexual act. Never reuse a condom.
Do Condoms Prevent Herpes?
Condoms can greatly lower the risk of giving or getting herpes. But, it is not 100% effective. Herpes is contracted from skin to skin sexual contact such as vaginal, oral and anal sex. Herpes can be present on areas of your body that are not protected by the condom. Such as scrotum, butt cheeks, upper thighs and labia. If you or your partner has herpes, there are some other safety measures you can take to help prevent transmission. Don’t have sex when there is a herpes outbreak. Even with a condom. This is when you are most likely to contract it. However, it can be transmitted when there are no sores or outbreaks so its still important to use condoms even when there is no signs. Don’t have sex again until all signs such as sores, bumps and scabs are totally gone. You also don’t want to touch your herpes sores as this could spread the infection to other areas. Always wash your hands thoroughly after touching an infected area. Always tell your partner that you have herpes before having sex. That way you can work together to best prevent it.
Do Condoms Prevent HIV/AIDS?
The only way to prevent HIV entirely is to abstain from having sex. Absinance is very difficult as most of us will have sex at some point in our lives and possibly with many different partners. The next best preventative measure available is latex condoms. Condoms are extremely effective in preventing STD’s including HIV. When used correctly condoms are up to 98% effective. In fact, in one study of 123 couples where one partner had HIV and condoms were used every single time for sex there were no reported instances of transferring HIV. However, in the same study, there were 122 couples that did not use condoms every time and 12 previously uninfected partners contracted HIV. The results speak for themselves. Using condoms correctly every time is the best preventative measure against HIV transmission other than abstinence.
Do Condoms Prevent HPV?
Condoms are great at preventing many types of STD’s including HPV. As always, the best way to avoid contracting a STD is to refrain from having sex completely. But, if you choose to have sex condoms are the best way to prevent STD’s. HPV can infect areas that are not protected by a condom therefore condoms are not 100% effective in prevention of HPV. The good news is there is also a vaccine that can prevent it as well. HPV is one of the most common STD’s and it’s great knowing there is a vaccine. There are 3 different types of vaccine – Gardasil, Gardasil 9 and Cervarix. These protect against HPV 16 and 18 which are the two types that cause 70% of cervical cancer cases. Gardasil also protects again type 6 and 11 which cause 90% of genital warts. Gardasil 9 includes another 5 types of HPV. It is recommended that children get the vaccine at age 11 or 12 before they may become sexually active. However, you can get the vaccine up to age 26. Be sure to talk to your doctor to discuss all of your options.
Can You Get Pregnant if You Use a Condom?
Condoms are about 98% effective if used properly every single time you have sex. However, many people don’t use condoms correctly or neglect to use a condom every time they have sex. In fact, condoms have about an 85% success rate in people that report using condoms as their only birth control method. Now, you can greatly increase your odds here by following proper condom application processes. That means wearing them every time you have sex. For the entire time you are having sex. Never reuse a condom. Make sure the condom is rolled onto the penis properly. Also make sure to use a silicone or water based lubricant to prevent rips or tears. Another way to decrease your odds of becoming pregnant is to use two forms of birth control. You can use condoms plus, the pill, the patch, IUD etc. Discuss all your birth control options with your doctor.
Why Do Condoms Break?
Condoms rarely break if used properly. Check here for a complete guide to using condoms correctly. The main reason condoms break is due to improper storage. Condoms should always be stored in a cool dry place where they aren’t handled roughly. Never keep a condom in your wallet or car as they will be handled too much or get too hot. When this happens the condom could dry out or become worn and not be effective. Also, always make sure to check the expiration date before using a condom. If a condom is expired the latex could dry out and become brittle causing it to break or tear. Also, make sure to use plenty of lubrication. Most condoms come with some lubrication but its not always enough. Make sure to use a silicone or water based lubricant. Never use a petroleum based lubricant such a Vaseline as it will cause the latex to break down and tear. Lastly, make sure you are using the correct size condom. Using a condom that is too small or too large can cause the condom to fail.
Why Do Condoms Expire?
Condoms expire over time because the latex used will eventually dry out and become stiff and brittle. When this happens the condom is no longer effective at preventing STD’s and pregnancy. All condoms that are FDA approved must have an expiration date printed on it. Always check the expiration date and if it is expired discard it and use another one. In addition, if the condom feels stiff, hard or dry, it could be damaged. Condoms should always be stored in a cool dry place where they don’t get handled much. If they aren’t it could cause them to go bad before the expiration date.