Condom Errors Raise STD Risks

It's not enough to use a condom and assume you're protected from sexually transmitted diseases or pregnancy.

A new study shows that the condom has to be put on and used correctly in order to provide maximum protection.

Researchers found errors in condom usage and breakage were common and were associated with an increased risk of gonorrhea infection in men.

"The importance of proper condom use seems obvious, yet the results from this study demonstrate that it must be taught to even sexually experienced adults and that the lack of correct use can be linked to infection," write researcher Diane Grimley of the University of Alabama at Birmingham and colleagues.

"The tendency to assume that consistent condom users are using condoms correctly seriously underestimates their risk of transmitting or contracting STDs or becoming pregnant unintentionally," they write.

Condom Errors Common

In the study, researchers studied more than 1,100 men and women treated at a public STD clinic in the Southeastern U.S. who reported using a condom in the past 30 days and collected samples for STD testing.

Researchers found more than 15 percent of the patients tested positive for one or both of the two most common sexually transmitted diseases treated at the clinic, gonorrhea and chlamydia.