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How to Use a Condom (cont.)

Effectiveness

The failure rate of condoms in couples who use them consistently and correctly during the first year of use is estimated to be about 3%. However, the true failure rate is estimated to be about 14% during the first year of typical use. This marked difference of failure rates reflects errors in how they are used.

  • Some couples fail to use condoms every time they have sexual intercourse.
  • Condoms may fail (break or come off) if you use the wrong type of lubricant. (For example, using an oil-based lubricant with a latex condom will cause it to fall apart.)
  • The condom may not be placed properly on the penis. Also, the man may not use care when withdrawing.
Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 6/11/2014
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