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Condom: Side Effects, Benefits and FAQs

Side Effects

The Positive

  • Protects against STIs, including HIV
  • Cheap and easy to get a hold of
  • No prescription necessary
  • May help with premature ejaculation

The Negative

  • Unless you’re allergic to latex, condoms cause no physical side effects (only one or two out of 100 people are allergic, and if you happen to be one of them, you can always use a plastic condom instead)
  • Some people may be sensitive to certain brands of lubricant (so, if the lube bugs you or your partner, try another brand)
  • Some guys complain that condoms reduce sensitivity


  • How effective are condoms at preventing pregnancy?

    In an absolutely perfect world, condoms are relatively effective—around 98%. But (and this is super important) in the real world, people mess up. They don’t use them 100% of the time. Or the condom breaks, or slips off. So with typical use, they’re only around 82% effective, which is a big difference.

    In other words:

    Of those women who use condoms exactly as directed, about 2 in 100 will experience an accidental pregnancy during the first year they use this method.

    Of those women who do not use condoms exactly as directed, about 18 in 100 will experience an accidental pregnancy during the first year they use this method.

  • Is it safe to use flavored condoms for vaginal or anal sex?

    The good news: flavored condoms are amazing for oral sex and can help prevent STIs from making camp in your throat. The not-so-good news: some flavored condoms contain sugars that can create chaos down below in the form of yeast infections. So, before jumping in for some fun down south pause and read the packaging to check for added sugars.

Articles & Videos

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    Guys Guide


    "When it comes to the condom, it’ll always be a friend you can depend on."

  • video thumbnail image


    How to Avoid 6 Common Condom Problems

    Condom trouble? First, don't give up. Second, make sure you're using the right condoms the right way.

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Our partner health centers are focused on you. They provide access to all methods of birth control and free or low-cost birth control to those who need it.