Condom FAQ: Most Common Questions About Condoms

condom faq
According to a forecast, between 2017 and 2022, the condom market in the United States will have a Compound Annual Growth Rate (CAGR) of 3.5%, from a $1,366.86 million in 2016 to about $1,680.22 million in 2022.

Still a popular barrier method of contraception, a condom is effective in minimizing the chances of pregnancy as well as decreasing the risks of contracting sexually transmitted diseases (STDs), including HIV/AIDS.

Condoms of today come in different flavors, shapes, color, material and textures. And while male condoms are far more used, female condoms are also available and serve the same purpose.

With its popularity and the possibility of condom failure, it is crucial to answer questions commonly asked by men and women.

Condom FAQ

How effective are condoms for HIV infection protection and if they are effective in preventing pregnancy, why do condoms fail sometimes?

When it comes to preventing HIV/AIDs, condoms are about 90% to 95% reliable if used correctly and consistently. If used as such there is a 10 to 20 times less chance a person becomes infected when exposed to the virus in comparison to the risk inconsistent users or non-user face.

When it comes to preventing pregnancy condoms are around 98% effective if used correctly. What this means is that if 100 couples use condoms consistently over a period of one year, two women out of 100 will get pregnant.

Meanwhile, some of the causes of condom failure include:

  • Not using the condom consistently
    This means that a condom is not used every time while having sex.
  • Not using a condom properly
    Not putting it on correctly, not keeping it on during the whole intercourse and similar.
    Read more about How to put on a condom properly.
  • Using a Wrong Fit

    If the condom used is a misfit, this can either lead to slippage or breakage. Using condom that is too small can stretch the material and eventually cause a tear. Conversely, if it is too loose, it can slip during sexual intercourse and fail to serve its purpose.
    Read How To Choose The Right Condom Size

  • Using Expired Condoms or not storing condoms properly
    Another reason for condom failure is a result of using it even after the date of expiration or storing it in a way that it can get damaged (e.g.,. in a wallet). If this happens, the condom may be at risk of breaking or tearing in the middle of a sexual encounter.
Why is condom size so important?

The size of a condom is utterly important to give protection to both partners by lessening the risks of STD infection and unplanned pregnancy. Wearing ill-fit condoms can increase the possibility of experiencing breakage or slippage during sexual intercourse.

If the size is too loose, it is more likely to slip. Conversely, if the condom is too tight, this can cause for it to break.

Additionally, a snugly fit condom does not diminish sensitivity; thus, the experience becomes more pleasurable. It also gives a better feeling to the person using it, especially if it is lubricated.
Find out more:
How To Find Your Condom Size

What condom size should I buy?

That depends on your penis size and specifically your penis circumference. In short, if you penis circumference is below average (less than 4.6 inches) I’d recommend that you use a small or snugger-fit condom. Those with a circumference between 4.6 and 5.1 inches should use regular sized condoms and those with a circumference above 5.1 inches should use a large condom.

Check this article for more information:

How do I measure my penis for appropriate condom size?

You can do that by using a piece of string and a ruler or a measuring tape. To measure your penis circumference loop the string once around the thickest part of your erect penis. Mark the point where the string connects and measure its length with a ruler.
That number is your penis circumference.

For more information check out this post: How To Measure Your Penis In Order To Find The Perfect Condom Size

In case a condom breaks during sexual intercourse, what should be done?

If this happens and there is still no ejaculation, the best course of action is to remove the condom and simply replace it with a new one. However, if it happens after ejaculation and getting pregnant is not in the plan, the woman should take emergency contraception.

Conversely, to reduce the possibility of STD infection, in case the condom breaks during sex, withdraw the penis, remove the condom and both partners should wash their genitals with soap and water. Taking a STD test is also advised.

Read more:

What are all the available condom sizes that I can buy?

Aside from variations in flavor and color, there are different condom sizes. In fact, one condom manufacturer offers 56 different sizes, meaning 56 different size combinations (they are still waiting for FDA approval to start selling them in the US).
When we talk about condom length, the shortest condom available is 125 mm (4.92”) long, and the longest is 238 mm (9.4”).

On the other hand, the condom width goes from 45 mm (1.77”) to 69 mm (2.72”).

Check out these resources:

OK, I know my penis circumference, which condom width should I look for?

Once you have your penis circumference, you can use the chart below for a reference.

Penis Circumference (in)Suggested Condom Width (in)Penis Circumference (mm)Suggested Condom Width (mm)
<4"1.77" - 1.85"<102mm45 - 47mm
4.1" – 4.5"1.85" – 1.93"104 -114mm47 - 49mm
4.5" – 4.7"1.96" – 2.05"114 – 119mm50 - 51mm
4.7" - 4.9"2.05" - 2.09"119 – 124mm52 – 53mm
4.9" – 5.1"2.09" - 2.13"125 – 130mm53 – 54mm
5.1" – 5.5"2.15" - 2.28"130 – 140mm55 - 58mm
5.5" – 5.8"2.28" – 2.37"140 – 147mm58 – 60mm
5.8" – 6.1"2.37" – 2.53"147 – 155mm60 - 64mm
>6.1"2.53" – 2.72">155mm64 - 69mm

Also, check out this post:

I found the appropriate condom width but the length of the condom is too long (or too short)? Is that a problem?

The length is not what matters the most and will not be a cause of any major issue. However, if a condom with the appropriate length is available, this is surely better.

What you need to consider is condom width since it is the most important factor in relation to the circumference of the penis when erect. If it is too wide, there is a greater risk of slippage, and vice verse, if it’s too snug, there’s a risk of a condom tearing.

What are the common errors of condom users?

More often than not, condom failures are caused by users themselves. One of these is improper placement of the condom in which it is placed upside down and turning it over. Others fail to wear a condom on time while there are those who remove it immediately.

Read more: Biggest Condom Mistakes

Can lubricants be used with condoms?

Yes. While there are condoms which are already lubricated, it is also alright to add silicone-based and water-based lubricants. Petroleum jelly and oil-based lubricants are not recommended since they can result in condom breakage.

Read more: Using Condoms With Lubricants

Does using condoms come with health risks?

People who are allergic to latex can suffer from skin irritation while the kinds with spermicidal properties can cause potential risks of urinary tract infection in women. But in general, condoms are safe.

Read more:

Can condoms be used under water?

If you and your partner plan to use a condom under water, it might be better to wear it before you go under water to ensure you wear it properly. It is also important to note that if chemicals are present, say, chlorine or bath soap, the durability of the condom might be compromised.

Read more: Can You Use A condom In The Water?

How are female condoms used and are they more difficult to use than male condoms?

Female and male condoms are similar regarding function, and both are effective barrier methods of contraception. Concerning usage, the female condom will prevent the sperm from entering the vagina after ejaculation while the male condom will contain the ejaculated sperm.

This condom is used by inserting the smaller ring at the closed end in the vagina and ensuring that it does not twist.

Read more: Female Condom Improvements with FC2

 

Couples, including teenagers, are advised to practice safe sex not only to reduce the incidence of pregnancy and HIV/AIDs infection. While condoms are effective, they are not 100% foolproof.

Abstinence from sex is still the only 100% effective way to mitigate the risks of HIV/AIDS, STDs, and unplanned pregnancies.

However, by following the tips and suggestion mentioned above, you will be maximizing both your safety and pleasure.


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