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Sex Transm Infect 86:36-38 doi:10.1136/sti.2009.036665
  • Clinical

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

  1. S A Sanders1,2,3
  1. 1The Kinsey Institute for Research in Sex, Gender, and Reproduction, Indiana University, Bloomington, Indiana, USA
  2. 2Department of Gender Studies, Indiana University, Bloomington, Indiana, USA
  3. 3Rural Center for AIDS/STD Prevention, Indiana University, Bloomington, Indiana, USA
  4. 4College of Public Health at the University of Kentucky, Lexington, Kentucky, USA
  5. 5University of Oxford, Oxford, UK
  6. 6Department of Applied Health Science, Indiana University, Bloomington, Indiana, USA
  1. Correspondence to Dr R A Crosby, College of Public Health at the University of Kentucky, 121 Washington Avenue, Suite 113, Lexington, KY 40506, USA; crosby{at}uky.edu
  1. Contributors Study implementation and oversight was conducted by SAS and WLY. RAC, CAG, WLY and SAS each shared in the development of the questionnaire and the conceptualisation and writing of this manuscript. RAC performed the analyses.

  • Accepted 3 August 2009

Abstract

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.

Footnotes

  • Funding Support for this project was provided, in part, by the Rural Center for AIDS/STD Prevention, a joint project of Indiana University, University of Colorado, and the University of Kentucky and by The Kinsey Institute for Research in Sex, Gender, and Reproduction, Indiana University.

  • Competing interests None.

  • Ethics approval Approval for the study was obtained from the Indiana University Institutional Review Board.

  • Patient consent Obtained.

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.

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