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Condoms are the only form of contraception to provide protection against sexually transmitted diseases. Their reliability increases with practice and they can be used in combination with any natural method of contraception.

Many couples using natural contraception make use of condoms during fertile days. In combination with the Sensiplan method they have a Pearl Index of 0.6 (1). Practice, good hand hygiene and using the right condom size are key to reaching this high reliability score.

Advantages of the condom

Disadvantages of the condom

The risk of unwanted pregnancy rises primarily through lack of care during or after intercourse, when sperm are spread to the woman's vagina by touch. This is why the Pearl Index varies so strongly, ranging from 0.6 to 12. However, lubricants containing oil, such as body lotion or massage oils, spermicide vaginal suppositories and medical products applied to the genital area can cause latex to become minimally permeable within a few minutes. Condom package leaflets draw attention to these risks. In these cases, condoms made of polyethylene, polyurethane, or polyisoprene offer an alternative to latex condoms. They are also suitable for latex allergy sufferers.
Many different varieties of condoms are produced, with different materials, lengths and breadths, thicknesses, colours, tastes/smells, forms and structures.

For more detailed information on the different kinds of condom as well as the advantages, disadvantages and risks of contraception using condoms, see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Condom


(1) In 4375 cycles in which couples used a barrier method during fertile days, there were only two unplanned pregnancies (=0.56% per year). See: http://humrep.oxfordjournals.org/content/22/5/1310.full.pdf+html page1360

Authors: Barbara Ochs, Petra Schenke