Condoms are a barrier method of contraception that, when used consistently and correctly, can prevent pregnancy by blocking the passage of semen into the vaginal canal. Condoms can also prevent the exchange of blood, semen, and vaginal secretions, which are the primary routes of STD transmission.
In recent years, as a result of misinformation and insufficient research, the efficacy of condoms, especially in terms of STD prevention, has been debated in many forums. Research continues to show that condoms are one of the best methods of preventing unintended pregnancy and are one of the only methods for sexually active individuals to protect themselves against STDs, including HIV.
This page includes information on both the male and female condom; on their effectiveness in protecting against unplanned pregnancies and STDs, including HIV; and on condom breakage and slippage, regulations and tests, and consistent and correct use. It is designed to provide the most recent information about condoms and to clear up confusion and misunderstandings.
Many of the studies on this page apply to more than one of these topic categories. Those studies have been listed under multiple topic headings so that all relevant data can be easily found.
The information on this page is broken down into several topics: male condom, condoms and pregnancy prevention, condoms and STD prevention, condoms and HIV prevention, breakage and slippage, factors that affect condom use, and female condom.