Guest Author - Suzanne Gregory
Condoms are one of the most common, affordable, accessible, and STD preventable, birth control methods on the market. They can be purchased ranging in price from a few dollars to twenty dollars depending of the type and style. For the best protection, the latex condom works best at preventing both pregnancy and disease, if used correctly.
You can purchase condoms from anywhere from gas stations to drugstores and even discount chains. Some bars, hotels, and restaurants, sell them in bathroom vending machines. Always check the expiration date prior to purchasing the condoms and carefully read the instructions after buying them. They need to be kept in a cool dry place to avoid breakdown of the latex.
Condoms protect against the following STDís:
HPV or Human papillomavirus & HPV related types of cancer
Condoms do greatly reduce the risk of STD transmission, when used properly, but they donít prevent it every single time. Any skin to skin contact, or exchange of bodily fluid can result in the transmission of an STD. Condoms are even more effective, though, when it comes to HIV/AIDS. In studies done on couples where one partner tested HIV-positive and the other was HIV-negative, the infection rate was less than 1% per year for couples who used condoms correctly and consistently. For couples who either used condoms inconsistently or not at all, the infection rates were 10-14%.
The primary cause of condom failure is misuse. Using condoms consistently and correctly is the biggest factor in their effectiveness. Studies show that the breakage rate for condoms is only 2%. Most unintended pregnancies from condom failure are due to people either not using condoms every single time and/or not using them properly. When used correctly and consistently every single time, condoms are near 98% preventive against pregnancy. In contrast, the effectiveness rate for first-year condom users is about 86%, as only an estimated 3% of these users use condoms correctly and consistently in the first year. After a year, the prevention rate increases, and with proper and consistent use, the pregnancy rate is 2-4 out of 100 women per year.
I can personally tell you, I used condoms as my sole means of birth control at several different times in my life for over 4 years or more each time, and never once became pregnant.
There are even condoms on the market that contain spermicide that helps to kill sperm on contact for added protection.
Condoms get a bad rap as being the least effective birth control, but used every time, in the proper manner, and you may find it is the perfect safe sex solution for you.