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Author Topic: new partner
Member # 31504

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Okay, so I have a new partner. He's realllllly great and a lot less paranoid about using only condoms as birth control. [Smile] (I am starting to chart, also, but won't be able to really see how my cycle works until quite a few more months.) However, we've been discussing having sex and our options and we both ran into some questions that I never quite resolved.

Please someone clear this up for me:

Okay, so, let's say we have sex. Nothing visibly breaks or tears, and the condom does not slip off. All appears well. Condom failure rates, in perfect usage, are 2-3%. Okay. So, in theory, we just had sex and everything went fine. Are we still in that 2-3 percentage? Or does that percentage mean BEFORE you engage in sex -- like saying, "You will have a 2-3% chance of your condom breaking or slipping off no matter how perfectly you use it?" Or does it mean that 2 or 3% of women (out of 100 in a year) will get pregnant and not really be sure how it happened? I'm trying really hard to wrap my brain around this. I searched this site and have found varying responses to similar questions posed. Some answers have said that I would have a very low risk of pregnancy, which is great. Other answers have said that if I did everything right and nothing bad happened, that my condom worked for me -- 100% effectively -- in that particular instance.

What's the real answer? Thanks guys! I'm super excited about my new partner and am ready to share this information and get going. [Smile]

Posts: 71 | From: USA | Registered: Nov 2006  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Executive Director & Founder
Member # 3

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With any effectiveness ratings for both control, those percents are that X number of women out of 100 in a year who report using that method will become pregnant.

For the filaures, there are any number of scenarios that can be the case, even with perfect use: in the case of condoms, perfect use failures are about the actual condom failing, rather than also the user failing to use it properly.

If you use a condom perfectly -- for all contant, from start to finish, put on properly, and it does not rip, tear, break, slip off or appear to have had some sort of manufacturing flaw (which is generally obvious in it leaking, ripping in spite of using lube, etc.) -- then it is safe to assume that for that particular instance, your condom has been 100% effective.

Does that answer your question?

(SO glad to hear that your new partner is supportive of your condom use. Thank christ.)

Heather Corinna, Executive Director & Founder, Scarleteen
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Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has. - Margaret Mead

Posts: 68290 | From: An island near Seattle | Registered: May 2000  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Member # 31504

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Perfect answer. EXACTLY what I was looking for. Thank you!

Yeah, no kidding. He's super supportive of condom usage and also knows about my current situation (the very slim possibility of herpes) and is so glad that I told him there was a chance. We both plan on screenings and non-intercourse activities until we can put our minds at ease.

Posts: 71 | From: USA | Registered: Nov 2006  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator

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