A couple gets comfy together in their hammock.

Spring is in the air – or at least it says so on the calendar.

That means many of us have the spring cleaning bug- scurrying around our homes, decluttering like crazy, and kicking all the dust bunnies to the curb. But it’s also a great opportunity to take care of some mental spring cleaning by clearing up some of those lingering questions you may still have about sex like: how safe are condoms?

When it comes to condoms, we can fill you in on everything you need to know- like how well they protect against sexually transmitted infections, how reliable they are at preventing pregnancy, and how to use condoms more safely to increase their effectiveness. Let’s get into it.

Two partners having a talk about the safety of condoms.

How safe are condoms?

Condoms are one of the oldest forms of contraception. When used correctly, they offer protection from sexually transmitted infections (STIs) and unwanted pregnancy.

As for the effectiveness of Durex condoms in particular — well, there’s a reason Durex is the world’s #1 condom brand*. All of our condoms come with Durex quality, which means that 100% of our condoms are electronically tested. Five more quality tests are carried out on every batch.

Not seeing eye to eye about protection? ​​Here’s how to ask him to wear a condom.

A man consulting his doctor about safe sex and condom effectiveness.

How safe and effective are condoms against STIs?

When used correctly, condoms can provide highly effective protection against STIs. However, they’re not 100% effective at preventing them.

You can still transmit or contract an STI even if you use a condom during intercourse. This is because transmission can occur in various ways, and an STI can spread through skin-to-skin contact on a part of the body the condom doesn’t cover.

For example, suppose your partner has herpes or an open sore caused by an STI (such as HPV) in an area away from the penis or vaginal area (such as the testicles). In that case, the infection can still be transmitted by sexual touching alone (like contact with the vulva or anus).

That’s why it’s always good to have an open and honest conversation with your sexual partners about their STI status before you get into the fun stuff. Although it may feel a little awkward at the time, it’s worth it for the peace of mind (plus your health). Trust us!

A pregnancy test like this one might be necessary in the event of a condom mishap.

How reliable are condoms for preventing pregnancy?

Wondering about condom protection rate? According to Planned Parenthood, condoms are 98% effective at preventing pregnancy when properly used (ex. fitting and applied correctly). But, their effectiveness decreases when a condom is used incorrectly or tears during usage.

Is a condom enough to prevent pregnancy? Often yes, but that all depends on using them correctly. If your condom does rip or tear during intercourse, you should seek advice from a medical professional at the earliest opportunity, as the condom’s effectiveness is voided.

So how can you get better at using condoms correctly? Let’s find out.

A Durex condom, like the one shown here, is a safe and effective option.

How can you use condoms more safely?

Using a condom correctly plays a significant role in increasing its effectiveness. Here are some important tips to keep in mind:

  • Proper storage – keep your supply somewhere at room temperature rather than a warm spot like your wallet or car
  • Keep an eye on the expiration date - how useful condoms are depends on their validity
  • Use the correct Durex lube** with your selected Durex condom**
  • Avoid doubling up (nope, just don’t do it. Ever.)
  • Make sure you put it on correctly (lightly squeezing the teat and rolling all the way to the base of your penis) and remove it correctly (keeping a safe distance from your partner’s body)
  • Pick the proper size - the Durex Find Your Right Fit Tool can help you find your most effective condom size.

Not sure what condom size to buy? Check out our helpful tips here.

A range of safe Durex condoms including flavoured, thin, and performance styles.

What condoms should I choose?

Durex has over 90 years of experience creating a range of products designed to give you better experiences, so you can rest assured your sex life is in good hands with Durex.

Choose from our thin & ultimate thin condoms** if you’re worried about reduced sensitivity. If you’re on the wider side, choose Durex sensi-thin XL or invisible XL** to fit you just right. Pick a flavoured condom** for an ultra-fun experience, or go for a bit of extra sensation with our ribbed and dotted condoms**.

Explore the full Durex condom range** and get yourself protected for the spring season and beyond – AKA, for life. We’ve got your back! Or should we say front? You get the idea.

If you’re still asking, “How safe are condoms?” — just remember that no method of contraception works 100% against pregnancy, HIV or sexually transmitted infections. But, used correctly, condoms will drastically reduce your risk.

It’s good to be in the know, so always read the info provided with purchase especially if you’re using condoms for anal or oral sex.

Want to know even more about this topic? Here’s everything you need to know about condoms.

And to learn more about all things sex, keep exploring the blog here.

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*Based on Global Nielsen Unit Share Data through October 2020; with over 80 years of experience, Durex offers affordable protection against pregnancy and STDs and is trusted by millions around the world every day. Please read and follow the label.

**Ensure this product is right for you. Always read and follow the label before use.

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