Medical questions & health advice by board certified doctors
"Can you still get pregnant if you use a condom when having sex?"
I'm 18 and just started having sex with my boyfriend. We use a condom but I do not take the birth control pill. Is there still a chance I can get pregnant? My bf says theres no way if we use condoms.
A condom is a barrier contraceptive device used to prevent pregnancy and reduce transmission of sexually transmitted infections. They are highly recommended for their indication and work relatively well, however like most things, nothing is perfect 100 % of the time. Condoms, when used exactly as directed have a 1-2% risk of failing per year. Most of this comes from condom breakage or slippage after or during sex. In addition, if condoms are used improperly, the failure rate goes up to 10-14% of failure per year. That being said, condoms are very effective in birth control and reduction of sexually transmitted infections. Many times, causes for failure can be readily detected. For example, you and/or your partner will notice if a condom breaks or slips off. If that is the case, then an emergency contraception pill (also known as the "morning after pill," or "plan B pill") can be used within 48 hours of intercourse to try to minimize the likelihood of becoming pregnant. Such emergency contraceptive pills can be obtained from a local pharmacy and do NOT require a prescription if the patient is 18 years old. Patients 16 and under require a prescription. Please consult your primary care physician/pediatrician/sex counselor for further details or questions regarding condoms, emergency contraception, as well as other forms of contraception such as the birth control pill, Intrauterine devices, etc.
Need more info?See a doctor today
Zocdoc Answers is for general informational purposes only and is not a substitute for professional medical advice. If you think you may have a medical emergency, call your doctor (in the United States) 911 immediately. Always seek the advice of your doctor before starting or changing treatment. Medical professionals who provide responses to health-related questions are intended third party beneficiaries with certain rights under Zocdoc’s Terms of Service.