Condom errors common

Most guys confidently think they know everything there is to know about the ‘proper’ application of a condom, but sadly that is not the case.

A study conducted by The Kinsey Institute Condom Use Research Team (CURT), USA, found 14 errors and problems that commonly take place in the heat of the moment.

They analysed 50 articles from 14 countries that have been published on the issue between 1995 and 2011. The analysis included a wide range of participants from monogamous married couples, college students to sex workers. However, most of the studies were from the US and UK.

Most researches on condoms look at how consistently condoms are used, but this study looked at user error. It is important to know how to properly put on a condom as condoms are 98 percent effective in the prevention of sexually transmitted infections and pregnancy.

Some of the most frequent mistakes include putting a condom on midway through intercourse or taking it off before intercourse is over, failing to leave space at the tip of the condom for semen, and failing to look for damage before use. These errors can contribute to breakage or leakage, researchers reported in the journal Sexual Health.

Between 17 and 51.1 percent of people put the condom on after sex had begun, while between 13.6 and 44.7 percent said they took the condom off early negating any disease-controlling benefits, since fluids are exchanged throughout intercourse not just during ejaculation.

Men were found to struggle with multiple problems when putting a condom on. Up to 45.7 percent of men questioned did not leave space at the tip for semen, while up to a quarter said they incorrectly unrolled the sheath before putting it on.

Two studies also found that 74.5 percent of men and 82.7 percent of women did not check the condom for damage before they used it. Almost half of both men and women also admitted they didn’t remove air from the condom after it was applied.

Between 0.8 percent and 40.7 percent of participants had experienced a condom break, and between 13.1 percent and 19.3 percent had one leak, depending on the study. Improper condom use, including the wrong kind of lubricant or storage, can contribute to these problems. For instance, oil-based lubricants will degrade latex condoms.

Writing in Sexual Health, the authors said: “Millions of infections could be avoided by improved user effectiveness”.

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