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Reuters) -- The consumers group best known for rating cars and washing machines has turned its testing prowess to condoms to find out which ones measure up best and how other birth control methods compare.
The nonprofit Consumers Union says in a new guide to contraception that the seven top types of condom they studied did not burst despite vigorous testing, and all models met international standards.

But results showed that the top brand, able to take the most punishment, was the Durex Extra Sensitive Lubricated Latex, according to the report.

Other top-performers include the Durex Performax Lubricated, Lifestyles Classic Collection Ultra Sensitive Lubricated and TheyFit Lubricated.

A melon-colored model distributed by Planned Parenthood performed the worst, bursting during a test in which the latex condoms were filled with air.

The group says its review of contraceptives was not politically motivated, although there is an intense debate among health professionals and advocacy groups about the focus on abstinence-only education by the Bush administration.

"We plan our testing programs quite a while in advance. This is purely accidental," said senior editor Nancy Metcalf.

Consumers Union uses standardized tests to rate the products it examines, which for latex condoms involves filling them with air. There is no accepted method to test silicon or non-latex condoms.

"You end up with a balloon 3 feet tall and a foot wide. They can really stretch an amazing amount," Metcalf said in a telephone interview.

The New York-based organization, which publishes the Consumer Reports magazine, also tested 16 other contraceptive choices.

"Condoms remain the only family planning and pregnancy prevention method that can help prevent sexually transmitted diseases, including HIV, which causes AIDS," the group, which has issued similar reports on condoms periodically since 1979, said in a statement.

"Condoms have improved since the mid-nineties because industry manufacturing standards have become more universally used and more effective," added Edward Kippel, who led the condom test project.

Intrauterine devices or IUDs have also become safer than in previous years, as have birth control pills, including so-called emergency contraception, the group said.

While abstinence has a 0 percent failure rate, doing nothing to prevent pregnancy has an 85 percent failure rate, the group found.

A U.S. government report published last month shows 98 percent of all U.S. women who have had sex have used birth control.
 

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Let's see here...... Planned Parenthood is an abortion clinic..... They make and distribute condoms that don't work too well...... People who use them sometimes end up getting pregnant..... and then go back to Planned Parenthood for an abortion....... sounds like smart business practices by Planned Parenthood by keeping plenty of clients coming in.
 

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The rubbers don't work?....that's why they call it "planned parenthood"...if they worked, they'd be out of a job...kinda like MADD, but that's a subject for another time! 8)
 

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I guess their condoms are the gift that keeps on giving for everyone involved. Go figure...why does this story not surprise me. Job security at its best.
 
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