How Effective Are Condoms Really?
Do condoms really work? How effective are they at preventing pregnancy and sexually-transmitted disease? What steps can you take to increase the effectiveness of the condoms you use?
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Statistically, only 2% of women whose partners use condoms during intercourse become pregnant from that encounter. That means condoms can be quite effective at preventing pregnancy but not infallibly so. As for the effectiveness of condoms against sexually transmitted diseases (STDs), it depends on the particular STD in question. For example, condoms are nearly 100% percent effective against HIV, but HPV is transmittable by contact with the skin, which means that a condom will only protect so much.
Use Correctly for Maximum Results
Of course, the most effective condoms are the ones that are used right. While only two out of 100 women each year get pregnant despite their partner’s use of a condom, that figure jumps to 18 out of 100 if the partner uses the condom incorrectly. As this stat shows, you can vastly increase the effectiveness of the condoms you use by following a few simple guidelines for using them properly.
* Check for tearing – Many people are naturally concerned about condoms breaking during intercourse, but how many of them check before intercourse, or before even putting the condom on, whether it was torn in packaging or got torn as the package was open and it was taken out?
* Check for freshness – Condoms don’t last forever. Check the expiration date on the packaging and if it’s passed, don’t risk it; just throw that condom out and use another one. If the expiration date hasn’t passed but the condom feels sticky, stiff or brittle, throw it out as well.
* If you take it off, throw it out – Don’t use a condom more than once, even during the same session. If, for any reason, you have to take the condom off (such as to urinate) or it falls off (such as while changing positions), consider that condom now officially unusable. Throw it out and put on a fresh, new replacement.
* Put it on before contact – Don’t let the penis make contact with any part of the other person’s body until it is sheathed in the condom. If any viruses or bacteria are present on the surface of the partner’s skin or pubic hair, such as from sweating or leakage, they could get transmitted through a penis that’s not already protected by a Ansell Lifestyles Condoms Skyn Intense Feel Amcal.
A few other details worth noting are to pull back the foreskin on uncircumcised penises before donning the condom and to pinch the tip of a condom without a reservoir tip to create one at the head as you roll the condom down onto the shaft. Always cease lovemaking the instant you feel a condom break to pull out, throw it away and replace it. When ejaculation is complete, be sure to slowly pull out and grip the base of the condom, if necessary, to be sure that it stays on until the penis has fully exited. Then, throw it away carefully, being sure not to let any semen spill out.