Condom Facts No One Tells You

    What about spermicidal lubricants?

    Initially it was felt that condoms lubricated with spermicidal agents offered more protection against STDs. Newer studies show that frequent use of condoms containing spermicides offers no additional protection and it may actually increase the risk of HIV and other STDs by irritating the vagina and penis. Spermicidal products do however remain useful in pregnancy prevention.

    How can I prevent the condom from breaking?

    A condom can easily break when:

    • It’s too old. Modern condom wrappers have a date after which the condom should not be used.
    • It hasn’t been stored properly. Heat damages latex condoms, so they should not be kept in a hot place, such as a car glove compartment or wallet.
    • There’s not enough lubrication during sex. Additional lubrication is always needed for rectal sex. It may also be needed for vaginal sex. The lubricant should be water-soluble, such as KY jelly.
    • The wrong type of lubricant is being used. Lubricants that contain oil — such as Vaseline, baby oils, and vegetable oils — should not be used with latex condoms since they weaken the material.
    • It’s too small. If necessary, buy a larger-sized condom.
    • Your partner is too tight. In this situation, use an extra strength condom and more lubricant.

    How can I prevent the condom from slipping off during sex?

    A condom may come off during sex because:

    • It’s too large. Try a snug condom.
    • Loss of erection. Remove your penis, holding on to the rolled edge of the condom, as soon as you begin to lose your erection.

    How effective are condoms at preventing pregnancies?

    Male condoms are about 85% effective for birth control. When used together and properly, spermicidal foam and condoms are about 97% effective in preventing pregnancy. The female condom is about 75% effective.

    How much protection from STDs do condoms really offer?

    Latex condoms provide protection from sexually transmitted diseases by preventing the infected area from coming into contact with the partner. Latex condoms provide the best amout of protection, although polyurethane condoms do provide some protection, although not as much.

    Natural or lambskin condoms do not protect against STDs, since they have larger holes or “pores” that allow the small particles that can cause some STDs to pass through.

    Female condoms provide some protection against sexually transmitted diseases, but the male condom provides the best protection if you have sex. Female condoms should not be used in combination with male condoms. The friction of the two could result in product failure.

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