For many people, when you think about safe sex, you immediately think about condoms. According to The Guttmacher Institute , they're the third most common form of contraception in the US, behind the pill and tubal sterilization. But how effective are condoms really? And are there things you should be doing in order to further prevent your risk of an unwanted pregnancy or contracting a sexually transmitted infection?
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Background: Although public health programs invest heavily in the male latex condom, its efficacy in preventing pregnancy and sexually transmitted disease has been based primarily on in vitro and retrospective studies. Methods: We combine the results from two randomized, controlled contraceptive efficacy trials that used commercial latex condoms brands Ramses Sensitol, LifeStyles, Trojan-Enz in the control arms. Combining data from the two studies, we obtained longitudinal data covering menstrual cycles contributed by approximately couples who used latex condoms exclusively for up to six menstrual cycles.
Back to Your contraception guide. Condoms are the only type of contraception that can both prevent pregnancy and protect against sexually transmitted infections STIs. Condoms are made from very thin latex rubber , polyisoprene or polyurethane and are designed to stop your semen from coming into contact with your sexual partner. Condoms are a "barrier" method of contraception. If this happens, or if semen gets into your partner's vagina during vaginal sex while using a condom, you may need emergency contraception.