Why You Can Get Pregnant While Using Condoms and the Likelihood of This Happening
- Pregnant, even if you used a condom — How often does this happen? Between 2-12 in 100 women become pregnant when using condoms as their sole contraceptive measure for the length of one year.
- Most common reasons: Material defects or incorrect size.
- Concerned you may be pregnant despite using a condom? Want to avoid becoming pregnant while using a condom? Read on!
Try: 🤰🏻 "Could I be pregnant?" - Take the Online Pregnancy Test
Pregnancy with Condom: Probability and Causes
Pregnancies despite condoms are more common than expected. Condoms, like all contraceptives do not guarantee complete pregnancy protection.
Chances of Getting Pregnant with a Condom
The effectiveness of contraceptive methods is measured by the Pearl Index. Its rate for the effectiveness of condoms is 2-12.
This means that two to twelve in 100 women become pregnant while using a condom exclusively for one year.
Causes for Surprise Pregnancy with Condoms
Incorrect use and material defects are the leading causes for pregnancies despite condoms. Condoms are ineffective when:
- The wrong size is used.
- They are damaged during the removal of packaging.
- They are not used correctly.
- The material is defective, causing tears despite correct use.
Worried About a Possible Pregnancy Despite Condom?
Contraceptive failures are sometimes obvious immediately; at other times, they may be noticed after intercourse. You may be reading this article because you are worried that something "happened" despite using a condom. This would be a very stressful concern!
Take a deep breath! Think about the exact reason for your suspicion: Did something go wrong with the condom? Are you noticing any signs of pregnancy?
Even if the condom slipped, tore, or got stuck, this does not necessarily mean that you have become pregnant. Whether this lack of contraception may have led you to conceive depends upon whether you had sex during your fertile window.
👤 What is your personality type and how does that impact your pregnancy? - Take the Personality Test
How to Deal With the Uncertainty
- Even though it’s hard: Stay calm and wait until you can find out whether you are actually pregnant. The earliest you can take a store bought pregnancy test is the day your period is due.
- Meanwhile, you can take our online pregnancy test. Identify your concerns and symptoms from the multiple choice suggestions, and receive a free evaluation!
- Tip: 💊 You are wondering whether to take the morning-after pill or not? - Go to Morning-After Pill: Yes or No?
Pregnant with a Condom — Now What?
If you just found out you are pregnant despite having used a condom, you might be wondering where to go from here. You are probably still reeling from the shock. Your contraceptive failure may have gone completely unnoticed, making the surprise all the greater. You are probably flooded by all kinds of thoughts and emotions right now.
Three things to consider:
- 🕰 Take the time you need in order to make a good decision. Don't allow anyone or anything to put you under pressure! Rather, weigh all the options carefully so that you will make a choice that you can feel good about in the long run.
- ❤️A good decision is made with heart and mind as equal partners. Don’t ignore your heart! Take your emotions as well as your thoughts into consideration as you choose.
- 👩💻If you would like some guidance during this time, feel free to take one of the following tests and receive an immediate evaluation. The goal of these tests is to create a judgement-free setting in which you will have the freedom to find the path that is right for you:
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Like all contraceptives, a condom does not provide perfect protection against pregnancy. Pregnancy despite a condom can be attributed to application errors (wrong size, wrong covering, damage during unpacking) and, occasionally, material defects. These cause the condom to tear or leak. The so-called Pearl Index for condoms is 2-12, i.e., between 2 and 12 in 100 women who use this method of contraception exclusively for a year become pregnant.
If the condom has torn, it is possible that you could get pregnant. When you notice the "contraceptive failure," rinse with clear water or urinate to flush sperm and any pathogens out of the vagina. Other factors also play a role in whether a pregnancy is possible, e.g., whether the contraceptive failure happened during your fertile window. Take a pregnancy test to gain abolute certainty! You can take the test approx. 14 days after the sexual intercourse in question or as soon as your period is late.
If you are wondering whether the morning-after pill would be an option, click here for more information and decision-making tools.
A condom is no longer safe once the expiration date has passed. In this case, it should not be used.
Effectiveness is also compromised if the material is damaged (e.g., by sunlight, heat, or sharp objects). Incorrect use or the wrong size can also render a condom ineffective.