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» Scarleteen Boards: 2000 - 2014 (Archive) » SCARLETEEN CENTRAL » Safer Sex & Birth Control » Condom effectiveness question

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Author Topic: Condom effectiveness question
juliedulie221
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Just out of curiousity...
A condom is 98% effective with perfect use. does that mean that if the condom doesn't break or slip off that there's still some mysterious 2% chance of you getting pregnant?

Posts: 63 | From: ny | Registered: Feb 2014  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
September
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There's nothing mysterious about condom use: if you use a condom that is well away from its expiration date, and use it correctly and for all genital contact, and there is no condom failure (such as the condom breaking or slipping off), then you do not need to worry about a pregnancy risk.

Those figures come from surveys of people reporting their condom use, so it also includes people who say the use condoms as their primary method of contraception, but then use it inconsistently, incorrectly, or not at all.

We've been answering a lot of questions about condoms for you, Julie. Do you want to talk about why you are so worried about condom failures?

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Johanna
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"The question is not who will let me, but who is going to stop me." -Ayn Rand

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juliedulie221
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Thanks joey. I hate to be repetitive and I've spoken to Heather about why I am freaking out about condoms. I guess I'm just looking for reassurance. What bothers me is that my partner didn't leave enough room at the tip of the condom so I saw semen towards the base but it was still inside. i was acared of it leaking but The condom didn't slip or fall off so as you guys said, it did it's job. I just get scared of other sites like yahoo saying that even if a condom doesn't fail...u can still get pregnant from it.
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Sam W
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Hi julie,

We can't really offer reassurance beyond the info we've given, and beyond the discussions you've had with Heather. I will say that, if you are feeling anxious, it would be best to stay away from sites like yahoo answers, as all the scary, unsupported anecdotes are not going to help you feel more at ease.

Is seeing stories like those the primary reason for your condom anxiety, do you think?

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Silent29
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@Joey. So going back to your post that you posted on 3/26, so if a person having sex uses a condom but withdrawals to ejaculate there's no pregnancy risk? Since the condom was used correctly and used during all genital to genital contact and there was no condom failure..
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Heather
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We can't say that, because NO method of contraception, or any combined method is 100% effective (and effectiveness ratings are not figured per use, but per a year of use).

If people want NO risk of pregnancy, none at all, not even the teeniest, tiniest one, then the only way to get that is not to engage in the kinds of sex -- namely intercourse -- that present pregnancy risks.

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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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juliedulie221
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The fact that it's based on a year of use...The effectiveness rate ain't bad at all
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Heather
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It most certainly is not! Rather, it's very good, especially when you know that in one year of intercourse without using ANY method at all, 80-90% of people do become pregnant.

So, that's from 80-90% in one year to only 2. Even with typical use of condoms, that's 80-90% with nothing to still only 15% using condoms only typically in a year, which means not always using them properly.

You can hopefully see clearly how huge a difference that is, and just how effective condoms used properly -- and other reliable methods of contraception -- can be. [Smile]

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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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Silent29
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Using condoms correctly + withdrawl and no failed or broken condom reduces the risk of pregnancy tremendously?
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Heather
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Check it out right here!

The Buddy System: Effectiveness Rates for Backing Up Your Birth Control With a Second Method


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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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Silent29
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so with perfect use and withdrawl its 99.92 effective, so why isn't it 100% effective in perfect use?
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Heather
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NO method or combined methods are 100% effective over one year for all users, which is how effectiveness ratings are compiled.

That's because even if and when we use any given method properly, to the letter, even, that still does not mean they cannot fail. It just means that, with most methods, they are very unlikely to.

As I told julie, if and when someone wants 0% risk of pregnancy, the only way to get that is by not having the kinds of sex that present pregnancy risks.

--------------------
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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Silent29
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Oh ok.
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Silent29
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What is meant by using perfect use and typical use when using a condom? What steps are taken to achieve typical and perfect use?
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Heather
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Perfect or proper use means following the directions for use to the letter and always using the method.

Typical use reflects how people more typically use a method, like by not being totally consistent, or making mistakes sometimes.

Here are two pages that can show you what proper condom use means:
Condom Basics: A User's Manual
All the Barriers! All the Time!

(Just as a reminder, when you registered, you agreed to search the site and boards first for information before posting a question, so please do your part by doing that before you post. Thanks!)

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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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juliedulie221
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to share what I've learned so far to people who are Concerned like I was, the only way you can get pregnant from using a condom is if it breaks, slips off, gets flipped (if not put on the right way the first time, although that's not direct Contact so it's a small risk) or if it's not used at all or only part of the time. condoms are designed to keep fluids in, so if it doesn't slip off, semen can't leak out of the rim. If none of those things happened, then we're pretty much safe [Smile]
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Heather
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[Smile]

--------------------
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

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

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