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» Scarleteen Boards: 2000 - 2014 (Archive) » SCARLETEEN CENTRAL » Pregnancy and Parenting » Condom Effectiveness Question

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Author Topic: Condom Effectiveness Question
redsheppie
Neophyte
Member # 69813

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Why are condoms, when used perfectly, still only 98% effective? What accounts for that remaining 2%? It sounds like possible dishonestly from test subject to me! Any ideas?

I've heard from lots of experts here on Scarleteen that condom rips and tears are obvious to the condom users and therefore known failures, instead of pinhole leaks that sneakily put you at risk.

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"Tension is who you think you should be. Relaxation is who you are."

Chinese Proverb

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Kachina
Scarleteen Volunteer
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Even when used correctly, condoms can break or slip off, and this happens -and results in pregnancy- in about 2 of every 100 women in a year.

Condoms

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~Kat
Scarleteen Volunteer

Humans are allergic to change. They love to say, "We've always done it this way." I try to fight that. That's why I have a clock on my wall that runs counter-clockwise. - Grace Hopper

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redsheppie
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So, if you know that a condom didn't break or slip off and was used correctly, should you be concerned about that 2%?

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"Tension is who you think you should be. Relaxation is who you are."

Chinese Proverb

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Heather
Executive Director & Founder
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One of the nice things about condoms as a method, specifically, is that unlike some other methods, we can almost always know if they worked or not for every time we use them.

In other words, if I use, say, a birth control pill as my sole method, I take it every day, but my use of that pill and how it may or may not work is going to be about more than if I took the pill I take Tuesday, the same day I had intercourse, correctly. As well, the only way I can really know if my pills worked or not is to see if I do or don't get pregnant, because I can't see, literally, how they work and if they do.

But yes, with a condom, for the most part, we can. We can know (usually) if they were or were not used for all genital contact. We can know if they slipped off, if they broke (usually), and if they were taken off correctly. When we know all of those things and know there's nothing at all to indicate a failure, then we can be as sure as it gets that for that one time of use, pregnancy was almost certainly prevented. We can know that with as much certainty as we ever can, basically. That's not 100%, but it's awfully close.

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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

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redsheppie
Neophyte
Member # 69813

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I see, that makes much more sense! Thanks!

--------------------
"Tension is who you think you should be. Relaxation is who you are."

Chinese Proverb

Posts: 16 | From: USA | Registered: Jun 2011  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
   

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