What are the chances of getting pregnant with a condom?
Condoms work really well at preventing pregnancy if you use them every time you have vaginal sex, the whole time you’re having sex. The chances of getting pregnant with a condom depend on the type you use. Condoms that go on the penis work 85% of the time. This means 15 out of 100 people who use them as their only form of birth control get pregnant each year.
Condoms that fit into the vagina (called FC2 or internal condoms) are 79% effective — meaning 21 out of 100 people who use them as their only form of birth control get pregnant each year.
Here are some things you can do to make condoms work even better:
- Use a condom every time you have sex. Put it in place before the penis goes in or near your vagina.
- Store condoms in a cool, dry place, away from direct sunlight. This helps condoms last longer.
- Throw out condoms that are expired, damaged, or discolored.
- When you open the condom, carefully tear the package towards the edge so you don’t accidentally tear the condom.
- Use water-based or silicone lubricant to help make sex feel better and prevent condoms from breaking. Avoid oils — they can make condoms break more easily.
- Pull out before your penis gets soft after sex, holding the condom at the base while you do it. This helps keep semen in the condom instead of spilling into the vagina.
- Throw the condom away when you’re finished. If you have sex again, use a new one.