1How are condoms tested?
There are a range of tests performed by both regulatory agencies and the condom manufacturers. These include electronic testing, the water leak test, the air burst test and the strength test.
2Are condoms fragile or delicate?
No. Most condoms are made out of latex, which is a strong and flexible material. Condoms undergo rigorous quality control testing at each step of the manufacturing process to ensure that they are intact, strong, stable, and have no holes. Just make sure to store your condoms in a cool dry place (not your wallet).
3Is using two condoms better than one in avoiding pregnancy?
Using two condoms at the same time-either two male condoms or a male and female condom- is not a good idea as the friction may result in one or both of the condoms tearing. If you want to take extra precautions against pregnancy when having sex, and are concerned about the possibility of a condom breaking it is better to use another form of contraception. For example, using a contraceptive pill, patch, vaginal ring or IUS as well as a condom will ensure that you both have double protection against pregnancy as well as protection against STIs.
4Can you use a condom under water?
If you are going to use a condom under water it is important that you put the condom on before you get into the water. Also, if the water contains chemicals such as chlorine, or additives such as soap, bath oil or bubble bath then this may affect the latex.
5Do condoms break and slip off frequently?
No. When used as directed, condoms are effective in preventing pregnancy and are the only form of contraception that also can prevent STIs. This is why it’s important to follow directions for correct use.
6Can I reuse a condom?
No, reuse of any condom is not recommended – male or female. A new condom should be used every time you have intercourse.
7How effective are condoms?
When used correctly, the male condom is 98% effective and the female condom 95% - but "correctly" is key – and not always the case!
With typical, imperfect use the male condom is only 82% effective (meaning approximately 18 out of 100 women will experience an unintended pregnancy within a year), and the female condom scores just 79% (21 out of 100 women will experience an unintended pregnancy).
8Are condoms effective against HIV and other sexually transmitted infections (STIs)?
Yes. Condoms have been proven to provide protection against sexually transmitted infections (STIs). In fact, condoms are the only contraceptive method that also provides STI protection. Condoms provide different levels of risk reduction for different STIs because infections are spread differently — some are spread by contact with bodily fluids while others are spread by skin to skin contact.
In general, research shows that condoms are most effective in preventing those STIs that are spread by bodily fluids, such as chlamydia, gonorrhea, and HIV. Condoms also can reduce the risk of contracting diseases spread by skin-to-skin contact, such as herpes and human papillomavirus (HPV). However, condoms only can protect against these diseases if the sores are in areas covered by the condom.
9How much protection do condoms give against pregnancy? If a condom breaks what are the risks of pregnancy?
When used as directed (i.e. the condom doesn't split or burst), they can be very effective in preventing both pregnancy and sexually transmitted infections (STIs). If a condom breaks and no other form of contraception such as the contraceptive pill is used, then there is a risk that a woman may become pregnant, so you should consider using emergency contraception. There is also a risk of contracting a STI.