General Article Questions and answers about contraception

Topic Selected: Sexual Health
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How reliable are male condoms in preventing pregnancy?

They are very good at this – as long as you use them properly. But how effective any contraceptive is depends on how well you follow the instructions, how often you have sex and how old you are, as the younger you are in general, the more fertile you are.

The male condom is 98% effective if it is used according to instructions.

This means that two women in 100 will get pregnant in a year.

If it is not used according to instructions, more women will become pregnant.

Sperm can get into the vagina during sex, even if you use a condom if:

  • the penis touches the area around the vagina before a condom is put on
  • the condom splits
  • the male condom slips off
  • the condom gets damaged, for example by sharp finger nails or jewellery
  • you use oil-based products with latex condoms.


Condoms which carry the BSI Kitemark (BS EN 600) and the European CE mark have had thorough quality checks.

And remember – If 100 sexually active wo...

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