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What is the Pearl Index - and why condoms are good!

If you're looking into contraceptives and their effectiveness, sooner or later you'll stumble across the Pearl Index. What this measure says, how it is calculated and what the Pearl Index of condoms is, you can find out here!

What is the Pearl Index?

The Pearl Index is a measure of the safety of contraceptives. The lower the Pearl Index, the better the contraceptive method works.

In concrete terms, the Pearl Index indicates how many out of 100 women become pregnant within a year despite having used a particular contraceptive.

How is the Pearl Index calculated?

The Pearl Index can be calculated using the following formula:

((number of pregnancies x 12 months) x 100) / (number of women x months of use).

So a Pearl index of 2 at would mean that in one year 2 out of 100 women got pregnant despite using contraception.

In most cases, however, the value is only extrapolated to 100 women and 1 year, without so many women having actually participated in a study over this period (see calculation example).

Pearl index Calculation example: 85 women test a new contraceptive pill for 6 months. 1 woman becomes pregnant despite taking it.

= ((1 pregnancy x 12 months) x 100) / (85 women x 6 months of use) = 1200 / 510 = 2.35

Thus, the new pill would have a Pearl index of 2.35.

Extrapolated, therefore, 2.35 out of 100 women would have become pregnant within one year if they had used the new contraceptive pill.

Where does the Pearl Index come from?

The Pearl Index was invented back in the 1930s by the US statistician Raymond Pearl and named after him. The aim was to develop a simple method of measuring the effectiveness of contraceptives.

How reliable is the Pearl Index?

The Pearl Index is a practical measure for superficially comparing the contraceptive protection of different contraceptives. However, it should not be relied on blindly, because important factors that have a major impact on fertility are hardly taken into account, if at all.

Not considered in the Pearl Index:

  • Age of women (fertility decreases with increasing age).
  • In general, the individual, genetically determined fertility
  • Women's lifestyle habits (e.g. diet, smoking)
  • Sexual activity/frequency of sexual intercourse
  • Diseases or medications taken

Theoretically, then, a contraceptive manufacturer could conduct a Pearl Index study and include only women who live sexually abstinent lives, i.e., have no sexual intercourse at all.

Of course, the Pearl Index would then be 0, since no woman would become pregnant during his study. He can then advertise his contraceptive with the great result, although this is actually falsified.

It should also be remembered that the Pearl Index only measures protection against conception. Whether and to what extent the respective contraceptive also protects against STIs is not taken into account.

The condom is the only contraceptive that protects against STIs - and it is hormone-free!

The condom has a Pearl Index of 2 to 12, depending on whether application errors are made.

Tips for the correct use of condoms

Why the condom is nevertheless an all-rounder when it comes to contraception: In contrast to the pill, IUD and Co. the condom also protects against STIs such as HIV and gonorrhea. Therefore, a condom should not be dispensed with, especially for casual acquaintances and one-night stands. But condoms also have their advantages in long-term partnerships and relationships: There is no need to use hormonal contraceptives, which can cause serious side effects such as bleeding disorders, nausea, thrombosis and depression.

With the right condom size, you hardly feel the condom if at all

Why nevertheless many do without condoms? Men in particular often complain about a loss of sensation or find the condom annoying. In most cases, however, the wrong condom size is simply used, which is why the condom slips off, pinches or even constricts.

With the right condom size, everything fits: the condom on the penis and thus also the feeling experience during sex. Find out here your suitable condom size and secure your perfectly fitting MISTER SIZE condom, for example in the practical trial set.

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