How Effective are Condoms against STDs?

By  ,  Onlymyhealth editorial team
Jun 03, 2011

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Condoms are perhaps the most popular form of contraception around the world. Most condom manufacturers will guarantee up to 99 % protect against unwanted pregnancies. However, there is another pertinent side to sexual intercourse; sexually transmitted diseases (STDs). Condoms are effective against STDs to a certain degree. However, the effectiveness of condoms against STDs depends on a few factors.


Condom Use and Storage


A condom that is stored properly and used properly will offer you considerable protection against STDs. By proper storage we mean that the condom is kept away from any direct source of light and in a cool and dry place. Also one must wear the condom before any genital skin to skin contact to avoid the spread of any kind of STD.


Type of STD


Condoms have a variable degree of effectiveness when it comes to different STDs.

  • Condoms are effective contraception methods against STDs that are spread through body fluids such as blood and semen such as chlamydia, HIV/AIDS, gonorrhoea, and hepatitis.
  • When it comes to STDs that are spread by organisms which reside in the genital sores such as syphilis can actually hold up against a condom. The efficiency of condoms against these STDs is pretty less.
  • The effectiveness of condoms against STDs that found on the genital skin such as herpes and genital warts is also very less. These STDs can be transferred from the infected to their partners even if a condom is used during sexual intercourse.


Type of Condom


A condom’s durability and effectiveness against STDs also depends on the type of condom that it is.


  • Latex Condoms: This type of condom actually awards 80% protection against STDs such as HIV/AIDS. Its efficiency against STDs such as genital herpes is about 30 – 90% in women and much less in men. Latex condoms offer up to 40 – 60% protection against syphilis and up to 23% in the case of genital ulcers.
  • Polyurethane Condoms: These hypoallergenic condoms also offer a considerable amount of protection against STDs although some groups consider them to be less effective against STDs when compared to latex condoms.
  • Lambskin Condoms: These condoms offer little or no protection against most STDs because of the micro holes that the body of the condom has. It has been argued that these holes are big enough to let the STD causing organisms pass through. Lambskin condoms do offer protection against HIV/AIDS and unwanted pregnancies.


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