How Effective Are Condoms?

How Effective Are Condoms?

Latex condoms effectiveness is high against the sexual transmission of HIV (during vaginal, oral or anal intercourse) if they are used consistently and correctly. They are also effective against unwanted/unintended pregnancy and other STIs (Sexually transmitted infections). The usage of condoms reduces women’s risk of cervical cancer (a HPV associated disease). It helps people clearing HPV infection and /or lowering the risk of re-infection, if it is used consistently or regularly.

HIV’s sexual transmission may occur if infected sperm, vaginal or any other body fluids contacts mucosal areas like the male urethra, the cervix or the vagina. According to a number of carefully conducted research or studies, doing various methods of measurement, has found that consistent use of condom is highly effective in preventing sexual transmission of HIV.

From a two year research of “ sero-discordant” couples ( in which between the two partners one is HIV- positive and one was HIV-negative) no uninfected man / woman became infected among the couples who used condoms correctly and consistently during all the acts of vaginal or anal intercourses versus ten percent of those people using condoms inconsistently. Another two-year study reveals that 2% of uninfected partners who consumed condoms consistently became HIV-positive versus 12% among those who used condoms inconsistently or never.

Chlamydia, gonorrhea and trichomoniasis are transmitted when infected sperm or vaginal fluids come in contact of mucosal surfaces. Because the discharge or sperm if blocked by condoms or the protection of male urethra against exposure to vaginal areas, against the Sexually transmitted infections condoms give a greater/wider level of protection.

Some extra protections are also provided by condoms against genital ulcer sexually transmitted infections like syphilis, herpes and chancroid which are actually transmitted through contact with mucosal surfaces or infected skin areas. Condoms provide a lesser range of protection as these STIs can be transmitted across surfaces/areas not covered or protected by condom.


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Cervical cancer is caused by HPV in almost all cases. While every year in USA around 3.1 million women are newly infected with HPV. Among them 40,000 women’s develop non-invasive cervical cancer and around 11,000 women develop invasive cervical cancer. A 28 months research on 123 college women shows that women who were sexually active and used condoms regularly were significantly avoided the contact of HPV than women who were sexually active and did not used condoms by her or her partner.

From another study, men who did the usage of condoms regularly and properly had reduced the risk of penile infection with HPV. Another study revealed that, men who regularly and properly used condoms had a reduced incidence of anal HPV infection than irregular or non-users. Regularly and proper condom users showed a faster regression of penile HPV lesions rather than non-users.

Condoms are very effective against unwanted or unintended pregnancy! Another statistics shows that in one year , 2 percent of couples who use condoms regularly and properly will experience an unintended or unwanted pregnancy – 2 pregnancies arising from an estimation of 8300 sexual intercourse acts , for per-condom pregnancy rate is 0.02 percent.

Another interesting statistics, couples who used condoms regularly and perfectly at every act of sex for one year , 98% of women depending on male condoms will remain pregnancy free. On the other hand, with typical use, 85% women depending on male condoms will remain pregnancy free. For female condoms, 95 % of women will remain pregnancy free if consistently and correctly used and the percentage of women is 79% if typically used. After comparing , only 15 percent of women using zero contraception in a year will remain pregnancy free.

Condoms, polyurethane or latex, male or female – is the only medium or technology to prevent the sexual transmission of HIV. From laboratory studies, scientists reveal that latex condoms provide an very essential impermeable barrier to particles the size of STI pathogens and HIV. Besides,Polyurethane condoms also provide effective protection and barrier against sperm, virus and bacteria. Condom breakage rate is less than 2% and most of this incident is happened by incorrect usage of condom rather than due to its quality.

Condoms Availability Programs play a vital role to increase the usage of condoms among the sexually active teens. These programs reduce the social, financial and logistical barriers which deterring the teens from using condoms. These programs are operated in different locations like teen clinics and schools where adolescents congregate; making condoms available to teens at low cost or free of cost , also providing condoms in such ways that reduces the teens’ discomfort about getting condoms.

Sexually active teens are actually encouraged by Condom Availability Programs to use condom frequently, regularly and correctly than to their sexually active peers without these programs. Studies reveal that, these programs actually do not encourage teens to engage in sex and don’t cause sexually active teens to do sex frequently or with more partners.

Besides, American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists , Institute of medicine , American Medical Association, The American Academy of Pediatrics all support communities and programs to make condoms available to teens. Moreover, to reduce HIV and other STIs , CDC has included condom availability among an array of effective approach.

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