Consumer Reports Puts 20 Condoms to the Test

While Consumer Reports said that all condoms it tested got passing grades, Jared Fennelly, a spokesman for Global Protection, said the results the magazine published may still give people the wrong impression. He said the condoms Global Protection manufactures are still 97 to 98 percent effective when used properly, just like any other brand.

"There's an implication there, and that's just one thing we would hope to clarify," he said.

Finding The Right Fit

Even if all condoms on the market work properly, Coleman said there are still some obstacles created when people use them.

Although it remains unclear exactly how often these mistakes are made, Coleman said some errors include tearing condoms by opening their packages with one's teeth. People may also not allow enough air in the tip to keep the condom from coming off during ejaculation, put them on backward, not put them on soon enough, use a condom after the expiration date, and not use enough lubricant.

"These tests show the reliability and integrity of the condoms, but they don't take into account what happens when humans are using them," said Coleman.

But one important thing this study does show, he said, is the availability of options for safer sex.

"I don't think people even realize that there are so many choices and I think it's important people learn about the variety of condoms and find one they feel comfortable with and enjoy using," said Coleman.

"Many of these condoms have been improved to enhance pleasure and sensitivity while maintaining the integrity and the reliability of the condom," he said. "This is very reassuring that the enhancements for pleasure have not reduced the reliability for protection."

Cari Nierenberg contributed reporting.

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