Does it fit okay? Problems with condom use as a function of self-reported poor fit

Sex Transm Infect. 2010 Feb;86(1):36-8. doi: 10.1136/sti.2009.036665.


Objective: To identify associations between men's self-reports of ill-fitting condoms and selected condom use problems, using an event-specific analysis.

Methods: A convenience sample of men was recruited via advertisements in newspapers (two urban and one small town) and a blog on the website of a condom sales company. Men completed a questionnaire posted on the website of The Kinsey Institute for Research in Sex, Gender, and Reproduction. Inclusion criteria were: at least 18 years old, used condoms for penile-vaginal intercourse in the past 3 months and the ability to read English.

Results: In controlled, event-specific, analyses of 436 men, those reporting ill-fitting condoms (44.7%) were significantly more likely to report breakage (adjusted odds ratio (AOR 2.6), slippage (AOR 2.7), difficulty reaching orgasm, both for their female partners (AOR 1.9) and for themselves (AOR 2.3). In addition, they were more likely to report irritation of the penis (AOR 5.0) and reduced sexual pleasure, both for their female partner (AOR 1.6) and for themselves (AOR 2.4). Furthermore, they were more likely to report that condoms interfered with erection (AOR 2.0), caused erection loss (AOR 2.3), or became dry during sex (AOR 1.9). Finally, they were more likely to report removing condoms before penile-vaginal sex ended (AOR 2.0).

Conclusions: Men and their female sex partners may benefit from public health efforts designed to promote the improved fit of condoms.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Condoms / adverse effects
  • Condoms / statistics & numerical data*
  • Consumer Behavior
  • Equipment Design
  • Equipment Failure
  • Erectile Dysfunction / etiology
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Internet
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Orgasm
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • Young Adult