So how effective are condoms?
There are lots of myths about how effective condoms are. If they’re used correctly, condoms are about 94% – 97% effective at preventing pregnancy (depending on which study you look at) and they’re nearly 100% effective at preventing transmission of HIV. Some people say that certain viruses can ‘pass through’ latex – that’s not true.
They won’t help against crabs, though, and some sexually transmitted infections including herpes, can be caught through oral sex with someone who is infected, so you need to use condoms for this, too.
- DO use a condom each and every time you have sex, regardless of you sexuality, and especially if it with someone who is not your spouse/partner, or if your partner is HIV positive.
- DO check the expiration date.
- DO use water-based or silicone-based lubricants, such as KY Jelly, Astroglide or Eros.
- DO NOT use a condom more than once.
- DO NOT use two condoms at the same time. The friction between the condoms may cause them to tear.
- DO NOT use oil-based lubricants (like petroleum jelly or baby oil). They can cause the condom to break.
- DO NOT use a condom if the individual condom packet is ripped.