An unwrapped male condom placed in a dark surface
A male condom

How effective are male condoms?

Condoms are an effective method for preventing pregnancy, HIV, and other sexually transmitted infections. But how effective are they?

Just like many things in life, they are not 100% effective. However, when used correctly, condoms are 98% effective.

The keyword is CORRECTLY!

Tips on how to properly use a condom

  • Check the expiration date on the condom package to ensure the condom isn't expired.
  • Open the condom package carefully. Never use your teeth or any other sharp object as you may rip or break the condom.  
  • Before putting on the condom, make sure there are no tears or defects.
  • Hold the tip of the condom to remove any air and then roll the condom down to the base of the erect penis. The condom should roll easily. If not, it may be inside out, and you should get another one.
  • Only Use one condom for only one sexual act.
  • After ejaculation, withdraw the condom while the penis it is still erect.
  • Remove the condom, tie a knot at the end to keep the semen inside, wrap it in tissue and throw it in a trash can.

Condoms come in different shapes, sizes, flavors, colors, and textures. It's important to find a condom that fits well and is comfortable for you and your partner.

Some condoms have lubricant to make them more comfortable during sex, while others do not. Non-lubricated condoms can be used with water-based lubricants which can be found in pharmacies and supermarkets.

Condoms should be stored in a cool dry place. Don’t store condoms in your wallet or pockets as heat and friction can damage them making them less effective.

What makes condoms less effective?

In case you are having vaginal sex, sperm can in some cases get into the vagina during sex, even when using a condom. This may happen if:

  1. The penis touches the region around the vagina sometimes before a condom is put on
  2.  The condom comes off from the penis or breaks when using teeth, sharp objects, and fingernails
  3. When you use oil-based products, such as moisturizer, child oil, or petroleum jelly, with latex condoms – this breaks the condom.
  4. When you use multiple condoms or reuse condoms.

Condoms can be found in many public health facilities for free, chemists, pharmacies, shops, and supermarkets.

Remember to always be responsible, protect your health and that of your partner using a condom.

Have condoms ever failed on you? Why do you think that happened?  Talk to us in the comments section. 

Did you learn something new?

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