What is the efficacy of male condoms for contraception?

Updated: Oct 16, 2019
  • Author: Frances E Casey, MD, MPH; Chief Editor: Richard Scott Lucidi, MD, FACOG  more...
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Answer

Answer

The failure rate of condoms in couples that use them consistently and correctly during the first year of use is estimated to be approximately 3%. However, the true failure rate is estimated to be approximately 14% during the first year of typical use. This marked difference of failure rates reflects errors in usage. Common errors with condoms usage include failure to use condoms with every act of intercourse and throughout intercourse, improper lubricant use with latex condoms (eg, oil-based lubricants), incorrect placement of the condom on the penis, and poor withdrawal technique.


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