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Breakage, slippage and acceptability outcomes of a condom fitted to penile dimensions
  1. M Reece1,
  2. D Herbenick1,
  3. S A Sanders1,2,4,5,
  4. P Monahan3,
  5. M Temkit3,
  6. W L Yarber2,4,5
  1. 1
    Center for Sexual Health Promotion, Indiana University, Bloomington, IN, USA
  2. 2
    The Kinsey Institute for Research in Sex, Gender, and Reproduction, Indiana, University, Bloomington, IN, USA
  3. 3
    Division of Biostatistics, School of Medicine, Indiana University, Indianapolis, IN, USA
  4. 4
    Rural Center for AIDS/STD Prevention, Indiana University, Bloomington, IN, USA
  5. 5
    Department of Gender Studies, Indiana University, Bloomington, IN, USA
  1. Dr M Reece, PhD, MPH, Center for Sexual Health Promotion, HPER 116, 1025 East Seventh Street, Indiana University, Bloomington, IN 47405, USA; mireece{at}


Objective: This study compared failure rates of a standard-sized condom and a condom fitted to a man’s penile length and circumference and assessed users’ perceptions of condom acceptability and confidence in the efficacy of both condoms.

Method: Using an experimental crossover design with Internet-based daily diaries, 820 men who wore at least one of each condom type reported outcomes and perceptions of condoms used during vaginal and anal intercourse events for which they were the insertive partner.

Results: Breakage for fitted condoms (0.7%) was significantly less than for standard-sized condoms (1.4%). When assessed by penile dimensions, significantly less breakage of fitted condoms than standard-sized condoms was observed among men in the middle circumference category (12–13 cm) during anal intercourse (1.2% versus 5.6%), men in the larger circumference category (⩾14 cm) during vaginal intercourse (0.6% versus 2.6%), and men in the longer length category (⩾16 cm) for both vaginal (0.5% versus 2.5%) and anal (3.0% versus 9.8%) intercourse. More slippage upon withdrawal after vaginal intercourse occurred with fitted condoms among men in the middle penile length (1.9% versus 0.9%) and circumference (2.2% versus 0.7%) categories.

Conclusions: Fitted condoms may be valuable to sexually transmitted infection prevention efforts, particularly for men with larger penile dimensions. That fitted condoms slipped more for some men provides insights into the need for unique educational materials to accompany such products. Findings also highlight the need for participatory approaches between public health, condom manufacturers, and the retail industry to integrate fitted products into our work successfully.

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  • Competing interests: None declared.

  • Contributions: MR and DH designed the study, were responsible for the implementation of all study protocols, and led the writing of this paper. PM and MT conducted the statistical analyses presented in this paper and contributed to the writing of the paper. SAS served as a methodological consultant on the study and contributed to the writing of the paper. WLY provided conceptual contributions to the measures used in the study and contributed to the writing of the paper.