Using a condom correctly is difficult according to a recent study in the journal Sexual Health. Led by the Kinsey Institute Condom Use Research Team, the study compared 50 research articles across multiple countries and found that incorrect use of condoms is prevalent and causing unintended pregnancies and infections.

A number of studies have focused on whether or not people have access to condoms, and if so, if they use condoms consistently. But little attention has been paid to whether people understand how to use condoms in the first place.

"We chronically underestimate how complicated condom use can be," Richard Crosby, a member of the research team said in a news release. "It involves the use of a condom, while negotiating the condom use and sex with a partner all at the same time. There is a complex triad of the sex act, condom use and partner dynamics that must constantly be navigated by condom users."

This difficulty explains why the correct use efficacy and typical use efficacy rates for condoms varies significantly (98% correct use efficacy vs. 85% typical use efficacy). 

What are the most common errors among users?

  • Failing to check for damage before using
  • Putting the condom on inside out
  • Not leaving enough room at the tip
  • Not using condoms throughout sex
  • Incorrect withdrawal 

Want to make sure you are doing it right? Check out the CDC Guidelines on using a condom correctly.

Posted in: Birth Control Effectiveness, Contraceptive Options, Research

Tags: condom use, typical use efficacy of condoms, condom failure, Sexual Health, Kinsey Institute Condom Research Team, education on condom use, CDC guidelines

1 comment for "Using a Condom is Harder Than it Looks - According to New Research"

Mb29 says:

Great study! As a health educator I can tell you we spend a lot of time telling people to use condoms but not enough time educating people HOW to use condoms.

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