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Condoms as the only form of birth control.. safe?


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My doc told me not to take anymore hormonal birth control.. so I've just been using condoms and I am PANICKED!!

I want some feedback from people who use only condoms.. How it works for you and how effective.

Obviously, I know and understand the risk such as if it breaks etc. Just looking for some opinions or advice.

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I've used condoms mainly, hate taking pills, so far, have never been pregnant so overall quite successful! It it breaks you can get the morning after pill, but I've never had this happen to me and it's only happened to very few people I know.


Have some fun practicing getting it on a banana or something to help you get the knack, it'll give you a good feel for their strength and elasticity without the obvious risk!

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I have always been a fan of using 2 methods of birth control. I understand that your doctor doesn't want you using a hormonal option, for some women it just creates too many issues, but why didn't they suggest other non hormonal options like a diaphragm or a sponge? I have not used either, but there is no reason you couldn't use one and condoms.

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I am also someone who can't take birth control pills, can't get on an IUD (went through 3 different GYN clinics to get one) and am stuck with condoms. I have been using Durex for 8 years with never having one break. You'll be fine.

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I want some feedback from people who use only condoms..

This is not really the way to get an informed opinion, since a collection of anecdotes can mislead you. My grandmother smoked a pack of unfiltered cigarettes every day for 50 years and didn't get cancer. That does not mean cigarette smoking does not cause lung cancer, it just means she was lucky.


As for your question, the doctor could have told you. The answer is "not really." Theoretical failure rate is about 2% per year with perfect use. Observed failure rate is about 15%, because most people make mistakes with them, one way or another. The most common failure mode is slipping off after the man loses his erection, not breakage.


Condoms are odd, because they're a highly visible, obvious method, and so people think they're 100% effective, when in fact they're the least effective method of proper birth control (excluding non-methods like rhythm or pulling out). Hormonal methods and IUDs are an order of magnitude more effective, even though they're not intuitive like a barrier. Methods where you don't do anything (like an IUD) are particularly so, since there's no way to make a mistake.

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As Godless said, the failure rate with condoms is 15%. Way too high. I would never use them alone.


I have an IUD now and I love it. I was on BC before.


Don't use condoms alone unless you're okay with the possibility of having a kid. Because condoms aren't that great alone.

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If you are truly worried, another option is using a condom + spermicide.

I originally said that, and then cut the remark when I couldn't find any firm statistics on the failure rate for that combination. I thought maybe the Planned Parenthood site would have numbers, but they only have an entry for spermicide alone, which isn't good. They do recommend using spermicide with condoms rather than just condoms alone, but they don't say how much it helps.

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link removed


Here is one, there are many citing the general effectiveness of condoms plus spermicide. The general consensus seems to be "around the same as birth control pills".


So, there is still risk. And it is still riskier than using hormonal birth control + condoms (as far as pregnancy is concerned).


I've used only condoms for most of my adult life. I am willing to trade off the risk for the advantages of not using hormonal birth control, and have a plan in place if pregnancy were to occur. I agree with you that it is very good to have an idea of what you would do and how you would feel if pregnancy were to occur...regardless of what birth control method is being used. Because with any method, there is always that chance that you will be the one who ends up being the small percentage.


I think OP should do some of her own research and find the best combination for her which she feels comfortable with. There are so many options now, there must be something which she would feel ok with, right?

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When me and my boyfriend has sex the first 5 years of our relationship we used condoms usually. I never had any accidents and we never had one break. I am only one birth control now and it seems to be working too.


Honestly no matter what form of birth control you use the *risk* is there every time you have sex of getting pregnant. Effective and correct use can prevent that. Practice makes perfect right.

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The main risks with condoms are if you rip or scratch one putting it on, or if it slides off before he's uh, completely out. Just be careful about what you're doing, watch out for rings and nails, get the right size, make sure he grips the base when withdrawing, and have Plan B in your medicine cabinet for any whoops. The risk level for people who take birth control seriously and are thorough and consistent with their method is extremely low. Human error like skipping a pill or being rough putting on the condom would be the most common cause of accidents.

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going on 3 years with current g/f (just condoms) we stick with Crown's blue package.


suggestions - don't take chances if your worried meaning if its bugging you or it feels like it slipped a bit put a new one on. they are cheap as hell on amazon! a kid isnt and KEEP HER WET! it is key to condoms, dry ones are easy to break.

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