How Effective Are Condoms?

Condoms offer protection by creating barrier between vagina and semen or other body fluids. Today, you can find condoms for both men and women. It is, however, enough for one of the partners to wear condom while having sex; in fact, you should avoid using condom when your partner has worn one already or else friction may tear it.

While condoms are a popular form of protection, there are people who still wonder effectiveness of condoms.They really are effective, but it usually depends on why you are using them.

How Effective Are Condoms to Prevent Pregnancy?

If you use condoms every time you engage in a sexual activity and use it properly, there are only 2% of chances that you may have to deal with a pregnancy. It means condoms are 98% effective at preventing pregnancies, and that is better than many other contraception methods.

However, some statistics show that people do not use condoms perfectly, so they are usually 82% effective in the real world. It implies that 18 out of 100 people who use condoms may still end up dealing with unwanted pregnancies. Therefore, the effectivenessof condomsin preventing pregnancies lies in how well you use them.

How Effective Are Condoms Against STIs?

In order to understand how effective condoms prove in preventing sexually transmitted infections, you need to understand how you become infected in the first place. STIs such as Chlamydia, gonorrhea, and Trichomoniasis transmit when infected vaginal fluids or semen come into contact with mucosal surfaces. Condoms create a layer of protection and avoid any exposure of the male urethra to vaginal secretions. That is why condoms prove very effective against STIs.

Condoms also prove quite effective against genital ulcer STIs, such as syphilis, herpes, and chancroid. The only thing to keep in mind is that these infections transmit when your skin is exposed to infected skin, so it is possible to contract the infection when surfaces not covered by the condom come into contact with infected skin.

How Effective Are Condoms Against HIV?

HIV transmits when mucosal surfaces such as the vagina, the male urethra, or cervix are exposed to infected, vaginal, semen, or other body fluids. Many studies have confirmed that the use of condoms during sexual activities works amazingly well to prevent HIV transmission. Many long-term studies have been conducted on couples with one of whom was HIV-positive. These studied showed that consistent use of condoms reduces risk of HIV transmission up to 94%.

How Effective Are Condoms Against HPV?

Human papillomavirus or HPV is the virus responsible for causing cervical cancer and genital warts. It spreads through skin-to-skin contact, and condoms play a big role in lowering the risk of transmission. This usually happens when the condom covers the area with warts. Many studies have confirmed that the use of condoms may also lower the risk of HPV-related issues, such as cervical cancer, cervical dysplasia, and more.

How to Use Condom Correctly

You already understand the answer depends on how you use them. So, what is the correct way to use a condom? Here is what you need to know.

Before You Wear a Condom

  • Keep condoms stored in a cool, dry place – keep it away from direct sunlight.
  • Pay attention to the expiration date and never use a condom past that date.
  • Perform a pillow test to check if the air stays in the package.
  • Do not use your teeth to tear the condom package.
  • Do not use a condom that looks discolored, damaged, or brittle.
  • Using a drop of lube inside the condom may help increase the pleasure.

To Put a Condom On

  • Pinch the tip of the condom with one hand to ensure there is space for the ejaculate.
  • Use your other hand to roll the condom to the base of the penis.
  • Guide any air bubble out of the condom using the same hand.
  • Apply some lube to the outside of the condom to limit excess friction.

After the Action

  • Make sure to hold the base of the used condom to avoid any slippage.
  • Throw it in the trash – do not throw it in the toilet.

Tips to Increase the Effectiveness

Using the condom in the right way will help improve its effectiveness, but you can also use another form of birth control to prevent unwanted pregnancies. You can opt for the pill, shot, or IUD. Your partner may also consider using "pulling out" method while wearing a condom to lower the risk of pregnancy.

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