Condoms — both internal and external — are less effective than other types of contraception.
Typically, condoms are 85% effective at preventing pregnancy. That means 15 out of every 100 people that use condoms — and no other type of contraception — will get pregnant every year. Most of those pregnancies will happen because condoms haven’t been used correctly.
When condoms are used correctly, they are 98% effective at preventing pregnancy. That means 2 out of every 100 people that use condoms perfectly will get pregnant every year.
A really good way to protect yourself from pregnancy is: use a condom plus another type of contraception.
Condoms are the best protection you can use against sexually transmissible infections (STIs) — for example:
- Viruses like HIV — which can lead to AIDS — won’t pass through an unbroken condom
- Condoms will reduce your risk of getting STIs — like chlamydia or gonorrhoea
- Condoms will reduce your risk of getting syphilis, herpes, and HPV — remember: skin that isn’t covered by a condom can still get infected