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Consumer Reports Condom Test

Over 3000 condoms were tested until they broke in a recent study by Consumer Reports, an independent, non-profit consumer protection agency.

To perform the study, Consumer Reports inflated 120 samples of each type of condom until they burst. The best did not show any premature breakage, but the worst broke 18 out of 120 times during the standardized test.

Although some performed better than others, all of the brands in the study met or exceeded the minimum industry standard air-burst test requirement. But the study did identify the highest rated brands, which researchers suggest consumers use. The brands include:

* Durex Extra Sensitive Lubricated Latex
* Durex Performax Lubricated
* Lifestyles Classic Collection Ultra Sensitive Lubricated
* TheyFit Lubricated
* Trojan Extended Pleasure Climax Control Lubricant
* Trojan Non-Lubricated
* Trojan Ultra Pleasure Spermicidal Lubricant

The report also found that there is no reason to choose spermicidal condoms over other brands, because they provide no additional benefit in preventing pregnancy, have a shorter shelf life, and may cause urinary tract infections in young women. (Trojan Ultra Pleasure with Spermicidal Lubricant is the only top-rated model that contains spermicide.)

Most experts recommend using a separate spermicide instead.

Researchers acknowledge that using any condom is better than not using one at all. But the study did identify some brands to avoid.

Planned Parenthood’s Assorted Colors and Honeydew models scored lowest in the ratings because they are not as strong as other models tested and may have a greater tendency to fail during use. However, another Planned Parenthood model, “Lollipop,” is a much better choice and rated excellent overall in CR’s tests.

“Condoms have improved since the mid-nineties because industry manufacturing standards have become more universally used and more effective,” said Edward Kippel, Program Leader in the Health and Family Products Department who led the condom test project.


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