Will a Condom Protect Me?
For years you’ve heard some say, “Use a condom every time you have sex.” The implication is that condoms take the risk out of sexual activity, but research shows that’s just not the case. According to reliable studies, approximately 15% of couples using condoms for pregnancy prevention get pregnant during the first year of use. In addition, even with 100% use (which is uncommon), condoms at best only reduce the risk (not eliminate it) of STDs / STIs (sexually transmitted diseases and infections).
Do most use condoms consistently?
No. Less than 2/3 of 15- to 19-year-old males report using a condom consistently over the past year. And as they get older and more sexually experienced, fewer males use condoms consistently. Even among couples where one partner has HIV, less than half use condoms every time they have sex.
How common is correct usage?
According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), condoms need to be used both consistently AND correctly. Consistent condom use is uncommon, and consistent AND correct use if even more rare. That’s not surprising, given that correct use requires a meticulous 6-step procedure that begins after erection occurs. Even if used consistently and correctly, condoms may slip off or break.
How effective are condoms at protecting you from STDs / STIs?
Sources: “The Condom: Do Condoms Make Sex Safe?”, The Medical Institute. Used by permission.