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» Scarleteen Boards: 2000 - 2014 (Archive) » SCARLETEEN CENTRAL » Sex Basics and Sexual Health » Condoms

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Author Topic: Condoms
Mortality
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The other day I was at a gynocologist (the ER sent me there, but it turned out to be a false alarm). While I was there I was asked a bunch of standard questions, like when my last period was, if I was sexually active and if I was on any hormonal birth control. I told her that I was sexually active, but that I was using condoms since me and hormones don't really get along. She reacted with a shocked "But that's not safe!"

So what about condoms is "not safe"? For me condoms has been the best option by far (I'm not in a monogamous relationship and I don't like hormones). The gynocologist thought I should look into some other kind of contraceptive. She said that there were other non-hormonal things.

So I guess I just want some reassurance. If I use condoms for all genital contact and they don't break or slip I should be safe? Right?

Posts: 122 | From: Europe | Registered: Nov 2007  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Robin Lee
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I have no idea what in particular she was referring to as being unsafe about condoms.

It's true that with "typical" use, condoms have a lower pregnancy-prevention effectiveness rate (85%) but in "perfect" use they have an effectiveness rate comparable to other birth control methods (98%). Additionally, they provide a high degree of protection against STI transmission, which other birth control methods don't offer.

There is no method of contraception that is 100% effective at preventing pregnancy. However, condoms used for all genital contact, from start to finish of that contact, that don't break or slip, are an effective form of birth control.

This gynecologist may have been referring to the fact that there is a higher chance for user error with condoms. She may just not be as familiar with the data on condoms and more familiar with the types of contraception she prescribes. I don't know.

Here's some more information about Condoms

If you do want to learn about other birth control options, take a look at:
Birth Control Bingo!

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Robin

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moonlight bouncing off water
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EDIT oops! Robin beat me to it!


Oy! That sounds really unprofessional of the gynecologist.

In terms of "safe" there's really two concerns that you need to have: risk of stds and stis and the risk of pregnancy.

In terms of the risk of stis and stds, condom usage is really your only option (to the best of my knowledge, Scarleteen volunteers please correct me if I'm wrong).

In terms of preganancy risks, condoms are protecting you, but not perfectly, no method can perfectly, this is why it is suggested that you use two methods of contraception, this brings your risk of pregnancy as low as is possible.

Two articles to check out which say a bit more about this are:

Birth Control Bingo
The Buddy System

[ 09-06-2012, 07:26 AM: Message edited by: moonlight bouncing off water ]

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~moonlight

I am ME and that is the only label I need.

Posts: 864 | From: Ontario, Canada | Registered: Oct 2009  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Mortality
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Thanks [Smile]
Posts: 122 | From: Europe | Registered: Nov 2007  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
   

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