- How effective are condoms in preventing pregnancy?
- Do condoms protect against sexually transmitted disease?
- Are condoms a good way to keep from getting AIDS?
- Will spermicides containing nonoxynol-9 help prevent AIDS?
- Are latex condoms the best way to practice "safe sex"?
- How often do condoms break?
- What should I do if a condom breaks?
- I used a condom every single time I had sex, and it never broke. Is pregnancy still possible?
- Do condoms have any health risks or side-effects?
- What are the different types of condoms?
How effective are condoms in preventing pregnancy?
For adults, the failure rate is about 14% per year of use. That means every year about 1 in 7 condom users experience an unplanned pregnancy. For persons under the age of 18, condoms were found to have a failure rate of 18% over one year. For unmarried minorities, the condom failure rate is 36% per year, and for unmarried Hispanics, the failure rate is as high as 45% annually. Spermicidal condoms have not been proven more effective than the non-spermicidal type.
Do condoms protect against sexually transmitted disease?
Latex or polyurethane (plastic) condoms are useful in helping to prevent certain diseases, such as HIV and gonorrhea. However, they are less effective protecting against herpes, trichomoniasis, and chlamydia. Condoms provide almost no protection against HPV, the cause of genital warts and cervical cancer.
Are condoms a good way to keep from getting AIDS?
Condoms will reduce your chance of infection, compared to having sex without any form of protection. Nonetheless, one in three AIDS victims will contract the disease from an infected partner despite 100% use of condoms. One study found that among married couples where one partner was HIV-positive, 17% of the uninfected spouses contracted the disease, despite the use of condoms. The best way to prevent AIDS is abstinence. [More about HIV/AIDS.]
Will spermicides containing nonoxynol-9 help prevent AIDS?
Spermicides containing nonoxynol-9 were once thought to help prevent HIV infection, but newer studies show an increased risk because the chemical can irritate the vagina, facilitating infection. Consequently, spermicides are no longer being recommended for HIV prevention. Fewer condoms manufacturers are including spermicide, and those who do are using less.
Are latex condoms the best way to practice "safe sex"?
All brands of condoms have been known to break during use. Breakage can happen even if you do everything right, putting you or your partner at risk for sexually transmitted disease and/or pregnancy. The only safe sex is abstinence (not having sex) or mutual faithfulness to an uninfected partner (i.e. marriage).
How often do condoms break?
2-6% of condoms break or fall off during intercourse. Polyurethane condoms are more likely to break than latex condoms.
What should I do if a condom breaks?
If ejaculation has not yet occurred, simply remove the broken condom and replace it with another one. If the breakage is discovered after ejaculation, both partners should wash thoroughly to reduce the risk of STD infection. The safest and easiest thing to do is for the woman to immediately insert a full tube of spermicidal foam into the vagina, which may reduce the risk pregnancy. Women should not douche. Contact your health care provider or local pregnancy resource center to discuss your options and for information about pregnancy and STD testing. Emergency contraceptive pills (ECP) may be recommended by the clinician. [More about emergency contraceptive pills.]
I used a condom every single time I had sex, and it never broke. Is pregnancy still possible?
Yes. If you think you might be pregnant, take a pregnancy test.
Do condoms have any health risks or side-effects?
Condoms, especially the spermicidal variety, increase the risk of urinary tract infections in women. Some men and women find the latex irritating due to allergy, and spermicidal condoms can worsen the allergenic properties of the latex. Overall, however, condoms themselves pose few health risks, especially compared to hormonal methods of birth control, such as birth control pills.
Three Kinds of Condoms
- natural rubber
- Durex Lubricated Latex Condoms, Her Sensation
- Beyond Seven Sheerlon Latex Condoms with Spermicidal Lubricant
- Durex Avanti Superthin Lubricated Non-Latex Condoms
- Trojan Supra Ultra-Thin Lubricated Polyurethane Condoms
- lamb membrane
- Trojan Naturalamb Lubricated Natural Skin Condoms, Non-Latex and Hypo-Allergenic
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