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International News

Size Matters: Condoms Break, Come Off During Sex, Study Shows

August 7, 2006

Of the more than one-third of people whose condom slipped off or broke during sex, 64 percent did not know what had gone wrong, according to a new survey. NOP World conducted the research, which was released by the UK sexual health charity fpa (formerly Family Planning Association).

The survey questioned 497 men and women ages 18-35. One-quarter did not realize that condoms are available in various lengths and widths, and 43 percent said they did not discuss condom sizes.

"Men come in different shapes and sizes and so do condoms," said Toni Belfield, fpa's information director. "Poor use of condoms can have devastating consequences on people's sexual health. Recent figures show the UK has the highest-ever number of new cases of chlamydia and continued high rates of unwanted pregnancies."

The group urged the National Health Service, Britain's largest distributor of free condoms, to provide a wider array of condom sizes. "Problems such as condoms splitting or coming off are directly related to people choosing the wrong size and shape, or not using them correctly," Belfield said. "When this happens, people lose trust and confidence in the method. As a direct consequence, people are then far more likely to use condoms erratically or stop using them altogether."

A Department of Health spokesperson said local sexual health clinics determine the range of available condom sizes. Defending the government's STD prevention record, she noted the department spent £300 million ($572.4 million) over the past three years to protect sexual health.

Back to other news for August 7, 2006

Adapted from:
Agence France Presse

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This article was provided by CDC National Prevention Information Network. It is a part of the publication CDC HIV/Hepatitis/STD/TB Prevention News Update.
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