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

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Author Topic: Condom use and effectiveness
Yesman
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Hey guys,

obviously I'm asking about condoms I have a few questions and I'll start with the effectiveness.

How effective is a condom ? Like what are the percentages etc ?

Posts: 52 | From: South Africa | Registered: Jan 2010  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
pyro_angel
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A nice description of condoms, including effectiveness right at the top, can be found on the Condoms page.
Some more info about using condoms is at This User's Manual page
Hope this helps!

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Courtenay

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Yesman
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thanx a lot,

i see that it says 98% Effectiveness ! [Smile] but i have a question. what is da 2% !? the chance of breaking or what ?

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pyro_angel
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Hi again,
As stated in the article,
quote:
98% effective with perfect use; 2 out of every 100 women will become pregnant each year
85% effective with typical use: 15 out of every 100 women will become pregnant each year

The statistic means that of 100 women using condoms perfectly, 2 will become pregnant.

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Courtenay

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Yesman
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Yes I understand this. But what caused it ? Breakage, leakage ? Or does this mean that sperm actually found its way through the latex ?
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Heather
Executive Director & Founder
Member # 3

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That 2% means that despite following ALL the directions to the letter, that a condom still failed, which yes, will typically be because it broke or slipped off.

Semen cannot "just come through" latex.

--------------------
Heather Corinna, Executive Director & Founder, Scarleteen
About Me Get our book!
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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Yesman
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Thank you so much Heather.

So if i use a condom perfectly AND it did not break or slip off, I can be 100% sure that she will not fal pregnant ?

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Heather
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One of the nice things about condoms is that we can usually know when and if they have failed.

So, while we have to be careful saying 100% about anything at all, on the whole, I'd say yes, when that is so, you can be as sure as possible pregnancy is not at all likely to occur.

--------------------
Heather Corinna, Executive Director & Founder, Scarleteen
About Me Get our book!
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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Yesman
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Thanx, sorry i just have a lot of questions on the subject because me and my girlfriend are planning to have sex soon and we can't get hold of something like the pill so our only choice is condoms. So I want to be sure this is a safe option.

In the statistics it says that with typical use (Or somethin along those lines) that its 85% effective. What exactly is this typical use ? What is done wrong by these people ? Putting on a condom is pretty simple so I can't see what they could be doing wrong ? I just want to know exactly so I can too avoid doing such things.

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Heather
Executive Director & Founder
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No need to be sorry, that's what we're here for!

So, typical use -- for any method, including condoms -- means the way most people use them in daily life, not in studies, which often tends to involve folks not following directions to the letter. It even includes people not using them at all, odd as that sounds. Those figures are generally found in broad surveys where people are asked what method of contraception they use, then how many pregnancies they have had in that year, if any.

So, for instance, let's say someone says condoms. They may not put them on right at the start of sex everytime, they may not follow directions to the letter about leaving room in the tip, and sometimes they just may not put them on at all, even though that's the method they use. Does that make sense?

--------------------
Heather Corinna, Executive Director & Founder, Scarleteen
About Me Get our book!
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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Yesman
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Yes, I understand what you saying. So the way i use it should b considered perfect use ?

The other day i tried on a condom for the first time just to see how it fits me etc... I left space at the top, as it says, but after a while that space i left in the front was not there and it was tight on the head of my penis. Is this wrong and can it cause a problem ?

As well, when I put it on the ring of the condom felt quite tight. I don't know how tight this ring is suppose to be ?

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