Condoms: Effectiveness, Types, and Proper Use

Condoms: Effectiveness, Types, and Proper Use

How Effective Are Condoms?

How well a condom works depends a lot on if you use it the right way. A woman can get pregnant even if she or her partner uses a condom.

When used properly, male condoms are about 98% effective. This means that in a year, 2 out of every 100 women whose partners always use condoms correctly will get pregnant. That number rises to 18 out of every 100 women whose partners don’t use the condom correctly every time.

Female condoms are about 95% effective when used properly. They only work 79% of the time if you don’t use them right.

Condoms also greatly lower the risk that one person will pass an STD to the other. The exact risk varies by the type of disease. For example, condoms are almost 100% effective at protecting against HIV. But HPV, the most common sexually transmitted disease, can infect areas that a male condom doesn’t cover, like the scrotum. They lower the risk of HPV infection, but they don’t get rid of it.

What Are Condoms?

A condom is a thin, fitted tube that a man wears over his penis during sex or a woman inserts into her vagina before sex. Condoms prevent pregnancies and STDs. They create a barrier that keeps semen and other body fluids out of the vagina, rectum, or mouth. You might hear it called rubber or the barrier method.

Don’t use male and female condoms at the same time. One can stick to the other and pull it out of place or tear it.

Best overall

Durex Mutual Climax Condoms are great all-rounders. They’re mint-flavored, which makes them great for oral sex, and they’re ribbed and dotted for added penetrative pleasure.

They also contain Performa lubricant, which may help reduce the chance of premature ejaculation.

Best for individuals who have a vagina 

Trojan’s Her Pleasure Sensations Condoms are designed so that sex will feel extra pleasurable for the partner who has a vagina.

It has ribs and contours to increase sensation, and it’s lubricated with Trojan’s signature lube.

Best for penile-vaginal sex

Durex Pleasure Me Condoms are great for penis-in-vagina sex.

Safe and reliable, these condoms are ribbed and dotted for added pleasure. It’s teat-ended and has an easy-on shape, which makes it easy to use.

Best for oral sex

Using condoms for oral sex might not seem necessary, but it is.

STIs can be transferred between the mouth and genitals, and condoms can help reduce the overall risk of transmission.

Unfortunately, condoms often taste terrible — which is why flavored condoms are essential.

Skyn’s Cocktail Club Flavored Condoms come in cocktail-inspired flavors, including pina colada, passion daiquiri, and cherry sunrise.