Young couple's feet showing under the covers as they have an intimate relationshipA surprise pregnancy with condoms — how often does this happen? Experts estimate that between two to twelve in 100 women become pregnant each year when using condoms as their only method of birth control. The most common reasons for a surprise pregnancy with condoms are mistakes in usage and material defects.
Condoms are a popular birth control method due to their effectiveness in preventing pregnancy and sexually transmitted infections (STIs). In addition, they don’t contain any hormones. When used correctly, condoms have a very high rate of preventing pregnancy. However, they aren’t 100% effective, so using condoms along with another form of birth control is a good idea to ensure safe sex.

How Effective Are Condoms?

While no method of birth control has a 100% rate of preventing pregnancy, if you use condoms correctly, they are very effective.
Condoms are 98% effective, so there’s still a 2% chance that you could get pregnant while using a condom. You could get pregnant if the condom breaks, and you didn’t use any backup birth control. There is also a tiny chance that his pre-ejaculate could reach your egg before he puts on a condom.
If condoms are the only form of birth control you’re using, you must use them every time that you have sex to prevent pregnancy. In addition, the condom must be put on correctly, with the right side out. Only use condoms that aren’t expired because older condoms tend to break more easily.

Tips on Using Condoms

When used correctly, condoms will increase your chances of preventing pregnancy. Here are some practical tips to follow:

Look at the Expiration Date

One of the most important parts of proper condom care is ensuring they are not outdated. All condoms should have expiration dates listed on them. If that date has passed, it is not safe to use that condom to prevent pregnancy or STIs. Throw the condom away and get some new ones.

Time it Well

To have sex safely, he will need to put on a condom before any sexual contact begins. It’s possible that you could get pregnant if pre-cum enters your vagina before the condom is on.
Remember, a condom can only be worn once. Use a new one each time you have sex.

Store Wisely

The best spot to store condoms is a cool, dry space. You want to store them in a space at or below room temperature. Avoid storing condoms anyplace warmer than 100 degrees or cooler than 32 degrees Fahrenheit. Keep them out of direct sunlight.
You’ll also want to keep the condoms away from anything sharp that could puncture them. So, avoid carrying condoms in your wallet where they can easily get broken before use. The friction from opening and closing a wallet can cause condoms to decline in quality.

Choose the Right Lube

Avoid using oil-based lubricants like massage oils, baby oil, lotions, or petroleum jelly because they can deteriorate the latex in condoms. If the condom corrodes too much, it may tear or break.

Are You Worried About a Suprise Pregnancy With Condoms?

Try to relax and take a deep breath! Even though it’s easier said than done, try to remain calm and wait until you can take a test to find out whether you’re pregnant.
Wait until at least the first day of your missed period to take any over-the-counter pregnancy test. If you don’t know when your next period should be coming, take a test at least 21 days after you have unprotected sex. When you take a pregnancy test too early, it might give you a false negative result. You can get guidelines on how to do a home pregnancy test here.
Even if the condom tore, slipped, or got stuck, it doesn’t necessarily mean that you’re pregnant. Plus, according to a study on condom breakage, surprise pregnancies without visibly torn condoms are rare. Pregnancies rarely happen when a couple uses another birth control method along with a condom.

I’m Pregnant! Now What?

If you’re experiencing a surprise pregnancy but with condoms, you might be unsure where to go from here. You are probably flooded with a variety of emotions, thoughts, and questions as you reel from the shock of an unplanned pregnancy.
Take the time you need to make the right decision for you, whether that be getting an abortion, becoming a parent, or choosing adoption. Try to avoid allowing anyone to pressure you, but instead, weigh all of your options carefully. Step by step, determine which choice you can feel good about in the long run.
Consider your emotions and thoughts, and don’t ignore your heart! Ask yourself: What would the future look like if I made this choice? Am I ready to be a mom right now? What would it mean for my family if I had a child now?

Adoption is an Option

If you find that you can’t get an abortion and parenting would be impossible, take time to consider some other options. Adoption can offer your child the upbringing and home you desire for them. Friends, family, and even strangers may tell you what to do, but your situation differs from anyone else’s. Only YOU can make the best decision not only for your future but for your baby’s, too.
Modern adoption gives you many choices and rights that older forms of adoption didn’t. You can choose your baby’s adoptive parents, how much future contact you’ll have with them, and how things go at the hospital when you deliver. Learning more about adoption is not a commitment to go through with it – it’s just learning more. Call or text Lifetime Adoption at 1-800-923-6784 anytime for confidential answers to your questions about your choices in adoption. You can also visit their website at