Q: Does using two condoms reduce the risk of getting pregnant?  

Q: I have heard that if you wear 2 condoms during sex, it reduces the man’s sensitivity and delays his orgasm.  On the other hand, I have heard that wearing 2 condoms makes them more likely to tear and is more risky, which one is correct?

A: After talking with numerous health care providers, health educators and condom manufacturing representatives, the overwhelming response is AGAINST the practice of wearing two condoms.  While there does not yet seem to be any scientific literature to support this stance, it comes from the advice of professionals (including the Centers for Disease Control, OB/GYN doctors and nurse practitioners, and condom manufacturers) who are most knowledgeable in the area of contraception and sexually transmitted disease (STD) prevention.  Their explanation is that during sex, an excessive amount of friction will occur between the two condoms and increase the likelihood of either, or both, condoms breaking.

When worn correctly, one condom is adequate (88%-98% effective) for pregnancy prevention and for protection against some STDs such as HIV/AIDS.    If you are concerned about pregnancy prevention specifically, you can opt to use condoms in combination with other contraceptive methods such as oral contraception (“the pill”) or a diaphragm.  Also, several condom manufacturers sell extra-strength condoms that have shown to be even more tear-resistant than normal strength condoms.  Extra-strength condoms are especially recommended for anal intercourse.  And, since extra-strength condoms are made of a thicker latex rubber, they may also have the additional effect of reducing a man’s sensitivity and allowing him to delay orgasm.

For correct condom use instructions, click here.