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'better-fitting condoms' needed PDF Print Email
As well as reducing the pleasure of sex, badly-fitted condoms increae the risks of infection and pregnancy, researchers say.

Men are twice as likely to take a condom off midway through sex if it fits poorly, according to a poll of 436 people in Sexually Transmitted Infections journal carried out by the University of Kentucky.

Poorly-fitting condoms more than doubled the likelihood of them splitting or slipping off.

UK experts said men should know condoms came in different shapes and sizes.

A recent poll shoes condom use is increasing in popularity, now rivalling the Pill as a form of contraception.

However, concern is rising that couples may risk unprotected sex instead if they fail to fit comfortably and correctly.

The latest study confirms these concerns.

The University of Kentucky researchers found that out of 436 men questioned, 195 reported that their last sexual encounter involved an ill-fitting condom.

120 of these said that this had reduced their own sexual pleasure, and 57 said it had reduced it for their partner.

In addition, 34 said they had removed the condom early, while 18 said the condom had broken during sex.

All of these problems were far less frequent among men who reported a well-fitted condom.

Better public health efforts are needed to make sure that men achieved the best fit.

Simon Blake, from advisory charity Brook, said that, used correctly, condoms were 98% effective and protected against both unplanned pregnancy and sexually transmitted infections.

He said: "Standard latex condoms should fit most people but there are many different types of condoms available in different shapes and sizes and trying different types will be important in finding the 'right one'."

Natika Halil, from sexual health charity FPA, said that men, and women, needed to take time to learn the skills needed to put a condom on properly.

"Confidence and the skill of putting on a condom also contributes to how well they are used.

Pharmacy can play a key role in condom advice and is easy to access at most times, pharmacists would welcome the discussion and many pahrmacies have a confidential consultation room available if necessary.