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How safe are condoms really? - Protection against pregnancy and sexually transmitted diseases

Condoms have long been a proven contraceptive and play an important role in protecting against sexually transmitted diseases or unwanted pregnancies. But how safe are they really? This blog post takes a closer look at the safety of condoms, their use and protection.

Condoms for protection against unwanted pregnancy

When used correctly, condoms are considered an extremely reliable contraceptive. The so-called Pearl Index, which measures the safety of contraceptive methods, shows that condoms have a high protection rate when used correctly.

When used correctly, condoms have a Pearl Index of 2, which means that only 2 out of 100 women become pregnant after one year of using condoms. Condoms are therefore 98% safe.

However, it should be noted that with typical use - i.e. taking into account application errors or possible "condom mishaps" - the Pearl Index is higher and the percentage of safety decreases.

Condoms in protection against sexually transmitted diseases

However, the Pearl Index only measures effectiveness against pregnancy and not protection against sexually transmitted diseases. While hormonal contraceptives only protect against unwanted pregnancy, condoms provide a physical barrier against pathogens and help to reduce the risk of sexually transmitted infections such as HIV, gonorrhea, chlamydia and syphilis.

Important, but often forgotten, is the use of condoms during oral sex to protect against sexually transmitted diseases. Although the risk of transmitting certain diseases during oral sex is lower than during vaginal or anal sex, there is still a certain risk. Condoms can help to minimize the risk.

It is also often not recognized that many sexually transmitted diseases have been on the rise again in Europe and other countries such as the USA in recent years. Condoms are the only contraceptive that offers protection against unwanted pregnancies as well as good protection against STIs, which is why it is so important to use condoms, especially with new or changing partners.

Common mistakes when using condoms

In order for the condom to develop its full protective potential, errors in use should be avoided.

A typical example is opening the seal with sharp objects or teeth, as this can damage the condom. Instead, you should carefully tear the seal on the serrated side with your fingers. It is best to dry your fingers briefly beforehand if they are damp or sweaty so that the condom does not slip out of your hand.

Another common mistake is not letting air out of the end of the reservoir. This can make the condom uncomfortably tight and more likely to tear. When putting on the condom, always leave enough space for the semen fluid at the end by gently squeezing the reservoir with your finger. You will find illustrated instructions on how to do this in every package insert.

At the end of the act, the condom should be held by the shaft when you pull it out to prevent it from getting stuck or leaking.

In addition, incorrect storage in places with high temperatures or direct sunlight can lead to material damage that impairs the protective effect of the condom.

It is therefore important to store condoms in a cool, dry place, away from direct sunlight and heat sources.

These simple steps can massively increase protection against sexually transmitted diseases or unwanted pregnancies.

How safe are expired condoms?

Expired condoms are not safe. The latex from which condoms are made degrades over time and becomes porous. This can cause them to tear or slip more easily, which can lead to an unwanted pregnancy or sexually transmitted diseases.

Most condoms have a shelf life of 4 to 5 years. This date is always printed on the packaging and on the sealing foil itself.

You can tell whether the condom is still good by the following points:

  • The expiry date has not yet passed
  • The foil has no tears, holes or damage
  • The condom feels smooth and supple, not sticky or brittle

If there is any doubt about the safety of a condom, do not use it and use a new one instead.

If you still don't want to dispose of expired condoms, but want to make good use of them instead, take a look at our tips for using expired condoms.

Safety through the absence of hormonal side effects

Although hormonal contraceptives such as the pill, the contraceptive ring or the contraceptive patch also effectively prevent pregnancies, they also come with potential risks and side effects.

One of the main concerns when using hormonal contraceptives are the potential hormonal side effects, which can vary from woman to woman. These include mood swings, weight gain, headaches, breast tenderness and nausea. Some women also experience more serious side effects such as blood clots, increased risk of certain cancers or impaired fertility after stopping hormones.

In contrast, condoms are hormone-free and have no effect on the body's natural hormone balance. They provide a physical barrier that prevents sperm from entering the uterus without interfering with the body's natural hormonal process. This makes condoms an attractive option for women who want to avoid hormonal contraceptives.

Condom sizes and fit for safety and feel

The fit and comfort of the condom are also crucial to its effectiveness. A condom that is too large or too small can slip off or tear more easily. A condom that does not fit properly can also be uncomfortable and make sexual intercourse less enjoyable. It is therefore important to choose the right condom size. MISTER SIZE offers 7 different sizes so that everyone can find the right condom.

Determine condom size now


When used correctly, condoms are an extremely safe contraceptive. Correct use, storage and quality play a decisive role. Condoms not only offer protection against unwanted pregnancy, but also against sexually transmitted diseases. It is therefore advisable to consider condoms as part of a comprehensive approach to sexual health. After all, safety ultimately lies in the correct use and responsible handling of contraceptives.

Condoms offer many advantages over other contraceptives and only a few disadvantages. In addition to the aforementioned protection against unwanted pregnancies and sexually transmitted diseases, condoms are easily and cheaply available, as they can be bought almost everywhere without restrictions. Condoms also offer the advantage of immediate protection, whereas with many other contraceptives you have to wait a while before they are effective. Condoms also normally have no side effects, except perhaps in the case of a latex allergy, but there are now also latex-free alternatives.

One disadvantage that is often mentioned with condoms is the lack of sensation during sexual intercourse. However, it is precisely this supposed disadvantage of condoms that we at Mister Size want to eliminate. Thanks to our thin, soft condoms in the right size, you have the perfect feeling during sexual intercourse, because nothing sits uncomfortably, constricts or slips off. Of course, this also contributes to safety.

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Mister Size
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