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Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Fact: Condoms Are Not 100% Effective In Preventing Pregnancy -- And Many Do Not Prevent STDs


One fact about condoms is often misunderstood. They are not 100 percent effective in preventing pregnancy. Condoms in general offer about 85 percent protection against pregnancy, which means there is that 15 percent chance pregnancy can occur even with the use of a condom.

Facts about condoms

There are male and female condoms. The male condom is the type most people associate with condoms, the latex condom used by males. But there are condoms for female use, too, and these are polyurethane tubes with flexible rings on each end with one end closed. However, there is a difference as to effectiveness. Male condoms are 97 percent effective in preventing pregnancy, but female condoms are only 75 percent effective.

Not all condoms can prevent STDs

Condoms are used not just for prevention of pregnancy but also for prevention of the spread of STDs. According to the Centers for Disease Control, STDs are higher in African American communities than in any other racial or ethnic group. This places them at higher risk for HIV infection. Latex condoms used by males provide the best protection against STDs. Polyurethane condoms for men, and female condoms, do not provide as much protection. Even less protection against STDs is offered by natural or lambskin condoms because they are more porous.

A word about spermicidal products

The use of spermicidal products along with the use of condoms does provide additional protection against pregnancy. However, it offers no additional protection against STDs. In fact, it may even increase the risk of STDs and HIV, according to recent studies.
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