Judging the Effectiveness of Condoms
Although they are not perfect, condoms continue to be the first option for men when it comes to preventing unwanted pregnancies and sexually transmitted diseases (STDs). Apart from abstinence, condoms are the most effective means of prevention for men.
Used correctly and consistently, latex condoms are very efficient when it comes to the prevention of sexually transmitted HIV during all forms of intercourse. They are also highly effective in the prevention of pregnancy and a number of sexually transmitted infections or STIs.
Latex condoms also reduce a woman’s chance of developing cervical cancer, which is a disease that is correlated with the HPV virus. Regular condom use can help women clear such infections and lower their chances of being re-infected.
Condoms are an inexpensive and effective form of birth control. Studies have found that when condoms are used incorrectly or inconsistently, approximately 18 percent of women become pregnant during the first year of usage. However, if condoms are used correctly and consistently, only two percent of women will become pregnant.
Some other advantages of proper condom use include easy access, low cost, minimal side effects, simple disposal, and longer sexual enjoyment. Condoms may also increase sexual pleasure because they can lower anxieties about the chances of infection or pregnancy.
Condoms are also effective in the way they can protect fertility. They can do so with the prevention of STIs like gonorrhea and chlamydia that can cause infertility. When a woman’s partner uses a condom, she is at a far lower risk of being hospitalized with pelvic inflammatory disease — a disease that can cause infertility. If a woman’s partner uses a condom properly, she is also at a 30 percent lower risk of becoming infertile because of an STI.
In addition to protecting fertility, proper condom use is also effective in protecting against genital ulcer STIs like syphilis, genital herpes, and chancroid. These conditions are spread through contact with infected skin or mucosal surfaces. However, since these infections can be spread across surfaces not protected by condoms, condoms offer a lower measure of protection against them
Condoms are also effective in preventing the HIV virus that causes AIDS. When used correctly and consistently, they are 98-99 percent effective in the prevention of HIV. One study found that of 123 couples using condoms every time they had intercourse, none of the partners went on to develop an infection.