How well do condoms prevent pregnancy?

Used exactly as instructed and used every time during intercourse, the male condom is around 97% effective at preventing pregnancy.

During typical use, condoms are around 86% effective at preventing pregnancy. Most condom failures occur because of improper use of the condom.

There are several things that can make a condom less effective. They include:
– Condom breakage or splitting.
– The condom slips off.
– The condom is damaged, for example, by a sharp fingernail.
– Contact between the penis and the vagina before the condom is put on.
– The use of oil-based products or lotions. These may damage a latex condom.
– Expsure to heat, such as occurs when stored in a wallet for long periods of time.
– Using a condom after its expiration date.

In addition, there are several things you can do to increase the effectiveness of a condom, including:
– Put on the condom as soon as erection occurs.
– Hold the tip of the condom and unroll it onto the erect penis, leaving space at the tip of the condom, yet ensuring that no air is trapped in the condom’s tip.
– Use only water-based lubricants with a latex condom. Petroleum jelly, hand lotion, and baby oil are all oil-based and can weaken the laytex condom.
– Smooth out any air bubbles to make sure the condom fits correctly.
– Withdraw the penis from the vagina immediately after ejaculation, holding the condom firmly to keep it from falling off.


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