Using condoms in safe sex practice and to prevent pregnancy
Male and female condoms are barrier protection methods of safe sex practice and preventing pregnancy. If used correctly, male condoms are 98% effective in preventing pregnancy. Female condoms are 95% effective. Without a condom, around 80-90% of sexually active women become pregnant each year.
Novelty condoms may be less effective and may not be designed for pregnancy prevention.
Male latex condoms provides the wearer (or the partner) with at least an 80% chance of protection against STDs including HIV.
Ways the effectiveness of condoms can be reduced
Condoms will not prevent pregnancy if sperm enters the vagina even when a condom is worn. This can occur if:
- it splits or tears;
- it is too big or is of the wrong fit;
- it slips off;
- the female condom is pushed too far into the vagina or not used correctly;
- the penis enters the vagina outside of the female condom;
- the penis touches the vagina before the condom is put on – read more on the number of ways a girl can get pregnant in our ‘Can I Get Pregnant If…‘ section of the guide; or
- too much lubricant is used, which will damage the condom.
Buying condoms online
Condoms can be bought at pharmacies, chemists and drug stores. To maintain privacy, consider buying condoms online.
Advantages of condoms
Condoms are popular to use in safe sex practice because of their advantages. They include:
- they are easy to use and discarded;
- they are used only during sex;
- they are effective to prevent pregnancy;
- they are also effective in reducing the risk of STDs;
- there are no side effects from using condoms;
- they are easily available.
Disadvantages of condoms
Some disadvantages of using condoms include:
- condoms can be damaged or split;
- the act of putting on a condom can cause interrupted sex;
- some males may not be able to maintain an erection when using a condom;
- some people may be allergic or sensitive to latex;
- if a male condom is used, the male must pull out immediately after ejaculation otherwise the sperm can spill out of the condom before pulling out;
- if a female condom is used, the male must insert the penis in the condom, not outside of the condom and must make sure that the condom is not pushed into the vagina.
Using dental dams in safe sex practice
Dental dams are latex squares that can be purchased in some pharmacies, chemists or drug stores. The latex squares are available in different flavors. Dental dams are used for protection against transmission of STDs during oral vaginal sex or oral anal sex.
Dental dams are new and the efficiency of using dental dams as a method for safe safe practice has not been studied thoroughly.