Are condoms 100% effective?
No condom prevents pregnancy or sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) 100% of the time. But if you and your partner are having sex, nothing protects against STDs better than a properly used condom.
For those having sex, condoms must always be used to protect against STDs even when using another method of birth control. They must be used correctly and must be used every time you have sex. Even when used correctly, condoms do not protect against infections spread from sores on the skin not covered by a condom (such as the base of the penis or scrotum).
Using a condom correctly doesn't only mean putting it on right side out. You should also:
If a condom breaks or slips off and you or your partner is concerned about pregnancy, call your health care provider or pharmacist to discuss emergency contraception. And both partners should be tested for STDs.
While condoms aren't perfect, if you're going to have sex, they are the best way to protect yourself.
Reviewed by: Larissa Hirsch, MD
Date reviewed: July 2011
*Names have been changed to protect user privacy.
|Planned Parenthood Info for Teens This site from the Planned Parenthood Federation of America has information on relationships and sexual health for teens.|
|American Social Health Association This nonprofit organization is dedicated to preventing sexually transmitted diseases and offers hotlines for prevention and control of STDs.|
|Planned Parenthood Federation of America Planned Parenthood offers information on sexually transmitted diseases, birth control methods, and other issues of sexual health.|
|Do Condoms Really Work? Find out what the experts have to say.|
|Condom Before you consider having sex, you need to know how to protect yourself. Read this article to find out how condoms work - and how well they protect against pregnancy and STDs.|
|Talking to Your Partner About Condoms Some people - even those who are having sex - are embarrassed by the topic of condoms. Here are some tips for talking about condoms with your partner.|
|Birth Control Methods: How Well Do They Work? Some birth control methods work better than others. This chart compares how well different birth control methods work.|
|About Sexually Transmitted Diseases (STDs) You've probably heard lots of discouraging news about sexually transmitted diseases. The good news is that STDs can be prevented. Find out how to protect yourself.|
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