Condoms are test tube-like sheaths made out of latex or polyurethane.

It has a 99.99% effectiveness rate, which is one of the highest among all other contraceptive methods.

However improper use can greatly diminish the condom’s effectiveness and may even render it useless.

How effective are condoms in preventing pregnancy?

This thin rubber sheath is about 70 to 90 percent effective, depending on how it is used and the kind of condom you have.

But accidents do happen.

That’s because the condom may either break or slip off.

As the editors of Consumer Guide’s “Family Health & Medical Guide” pointed out:

How to Make Sure You Use a Condom Properly

Here are six steps to follow to make sure you are using a condom properly and creating the intimacy she needs.

1. Choose the appropriate condom size for you.

50% of men do not fit into average sized condoms.

40% should be using snug fit and 10% should be using large ones.

If you are using a condom that is too small, it has a higher chance of breaking.

If you use one that is too large, it has a higher chance of sliding off.

In addition, a condom that fits properly will hug your curves and shape giving both you and your partner more of a natural feel.

2. Open the wrapper carefully.

Do not get caught up in the heat of the moment and rush.

Opening the wrapper is the most common way condoms get damaged.

3. Pinch the tip.

Before you begin unrolling the condom, pinch the tip and hold it as you unroll it.

This will ensure there are no air bubbles and there is extra material at the top to catch any fluids without risk of breaking.

4. Unroll the condom all the way.

There will be some extra material at the bottom, but that is by design.

Just make sure the condom covers the entire length of your penis.

5. Use lubricant.

Condoms break when there is too much friction.

An easy and fun way to avoid this is to apply lubricant.

If you are using latex condoms, make sure you are using water based lubricants since oil based lubricants degrade latex.

6. Hold the bottom of the condom as you pull out.

To make sure it doesn’t slide off as you are pulling out, reach down with your hand and hold onto the base of the condom to hold it securely.

When done, never wash them out and reuse themĀ  – the CDC is fighting to make sure everyone understands this.

Condom Sizes In Plain English

Things were much worse in the past.

prior to rigid standards set by the FDA, as many as three-fourths of all condoms in the market were found to be defective.

When the FDA stepped into the picture by examining all kinds of condoms – both local and imported – these defects were minimized and manufacturers themselves started improving their stocks.

One test used by the FDA to check the condom’s quality and strength is the standard water test.

In this test, a condom is filled with water and is examined for leaks or bulges which indicate thin spots that could break later.