Latex condoms are highly effective in preventing pregnancy and the transmission of common STD’s, including HIV, during vaginal, oral, or anal intercourse.
Condom Effectiveness in Pregnancy
Condoms however are not as effective in preventing pregnancy as the other common birth control methods, including;
- The Pill (A hormone pill taken orally: 99.7% effective)
- Contraceptive Implant (A small rod containing hormones and implanted under the skin: 99.8% effective)
- Contraceptive Injection (Depo Ralovera/Depo Provera – Performed every 3 months: 99.8% efffective)
- Intra Uterine Device (IUD – A small device placed inside the uterus that makes the womb uninhabitable for sperm: 99.8% effective.
However these alternative methods are only 99.7-99.8% effective when used exactly to the instructions.
The percentage of pregnancies with each is much higher (5-20%) as generally people forget to take their pill, schedule their injection or have their implant renewed in time.
You can also reduce the chances of pregnancy by combining the use of condoms with another contraceptive method for double protection.
Condom Effectiveness in Preventing STDs
When used properly, condoms are the best protection against the transmission of STDs.
None of the aforementioned alternative contraceptive methods provide any protection against STDs as they do not form any type of physical barrier to prevent exchange of bodily fluid.
Diseases such as Gonorrhoea and Chlamydia rely on infected semen or vaginal fluids contacting mucosal surfaces.
How to Make Condoms More Effective
You can hugely decrease your chances of STIs and pregnancy by using condoms properly, namely;
- Only use condoms once
- Use condoms for all sexual activities; vaginal, oral and anal
- Take care when taking the condom out of the packet to avoid breakage
- Roll the condom on carefully and fully.