You may have noticed some pregnancy symptoms which left you feeling a little confused, and possibly a bit nervous. Before engaging in sexual intercourse with your partner, the two of you might have used two condoms instead of one for extra protection. This action is often referred to as “double bagging.” Wearing more than one condom may sound foolproof. But this is not necessarily the case. When it comes to contraceptive use, there’s often a very specific way each method has to be used in order for it to work. You may have questions. So, before you make any decisions about what to do next, you may want to gather some information first.
Do you suspect a possible pregnancy despite using two condoms instead of one? With six Chicagoland centers, Avenue Women’s Center is here to offer confidential resources and support. Our free, medical-grade pregnancy tests are accurate just ten days after possible conception. Receive a confidential consultation where you can discuss your options with one of our client advocates. We know this situation might have come as a surprise, but we’re here to answer your questions and help you through the decision-making process.
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Why Is It Not Effective to Wear Two Condoms?
At first, wearing more than just one condom might have sounded like it would grant you and your partner extra protection against unexpected pregnancy. However, there isn’t much evidence out there to support the idea that using two at the same time works better than just one. On their own, male condoms are reported to be 82-98% effective, and female condoms are said to be 79-95% effective.
In fact, “double bagging” is typically not recommended. This is because it can create friction between the two condoms during intercourse. The friction can potentially lead to ripping or tearing the material. Some research has found the chances of a condom breaking are slightly higher if two are worn at once compared to just a single condom being used. When tears happen, other studies have found the majority occur near the tip of the condom.
How Can We Increase Birth Control Effectiveness?
If you and your partner had been attempting to prevent an unexpected pregnancy by using more than one condom, you may want to look into a few other methods. Spermicides can usually be purchased over the counter and used in combination with other birth control methods to increase effectiveness. Other options include a diaphragm or a cervical cap, as these can often be used in tandem with a condom as well.
Of course, it should be noted these methods will not completely eliminate the possibility of pregnancy. Only abstinence can do that.
What Should I Do If I Think I’m Pregnant?
Did you miss your period? Are you experiencing nausea or breast tenderness? If you suspect you’re pregnant, try not to think ahead about what you’ll do just yet. Having a plan is important, But it’s a good idea to confirm your condition first. It can be stressful to learn the birth control method you used did not work if the pregnancy test is positive.
Since this can be an emotional revelation for some people, you may want to take this test in the company of a healthcare provider or a pregnancy consultant. That way, they can guide you through the process of understanding your choices of abortion, adoption, and parenting, as well as answer questions about your pregnancy-related concerns. While you may already be aware you have three choices, learning more about them by yourself can be stressful.
The situation you’re in can feel overwhelming, but you don’t have to handle it alone. Professional resources are here to remove some of your burdens by listening and connecting you to any information you may need.
Are you worried you might be pregnant even though you and your partner used protection? Find out today by taking a free pregnancy test at Avenue Women’s Center. After learning your results, you’ll have the opportunity to ask questions about abortion, adoption, and parenting, as well as available resources. Our expert staff will provide the information and resources you need to take your next step.
Reach out today for confidential services at no cost!
- TeensHealth. (2017, January). Can You Use Two Condoms for Extra Protection? Retrieved from: https://teenshealth.org/en/teens/2-condoms.html?WT.ac=ctg#catbirth-control
- verywellhealth. (2019, September). Why Double Wrapping Condoms Can Be Risky. Retrieved from: https://www.verywellhealth.com/double-bagging-condoms-using-two-condoms-906780
The information provided here is general in nature. It is not a substitute for a consultation with a medical professional. Before any medical procedure, it is imperative that you discuss your personal medical history, risks, and concerns with your doctor. If you have questions during or after a procedure, your doctor should be immediately contacted. Avenue Women’s Center is not an emergency center. If you are experiencing severe symptoms, such as bleeding and/or pain, seek immediate medical attention. Contact your physician, go to an emergency room, or call 911.