Don’t leave it too late! Common condom errors that put users at risk of STDs and unwanted pregnancies revealed
Common errors included putting a condom on too late or taking if off too early during sex
Condoms are 98 per cent effective in preventing pregnancy and sexually transmitted infections – but only if you use them properly. Now scientists have revealed a laundry list of errors and problems that commonly take place during the heat of the moment.
A team from The Kinsey Institute Condom Use Research Team (CURT) analysed 50 articles that have been published on the issue between 1995 and 2011.
Don't wait: An analysis of condom-use studies found up to 51.1 per cent of people said one was put on after sex had begun
The research represents 14 countries although most of the studies are from the UK, U.S and Canada.
The analysis highlighted a number of common errors including using a sharp object to open the packet, putting a condom on too late or taking if off too early during sex and failing to use water-based lubricants.
The researchers from four universities, including the University of Southampton, said while much
attention had been given to how consistently condoms are used, far fewer
investigations have looked at user error.
chronically underestimate how complicated condom use can be,' said
co-author Professor Richard Crosby from the University of Kentucky.
'It involves the use of a condom while negotiating the condom use and sex with a partner all at the same time.'
HOW TO USE CONDOMS CORRECTLY
Store condoms in a cool, dry place. Do not use if expired. Push it awayfrom the corner you are going to tear.
Once out the packet inspect sheath for damage.Roll on with fingers, leaving space at the tip. If inside out throw away and start again.Use condom throughout sex.Hold base of condom during withdrawal. Check condom for damage. Wrap and discard in bin.If condom breaks or slips off during sex both partners should wash with soap and water straight afterwards to reduce STI risk. Women should use spermicide. Speak to a health care provider about possibility of pregnancy or infection.
The analysis included a wide range of participants from monogamous married couples to sex workers.
It revealed condoms were often not used throughout the entire sexual experience.
Between 17 and 51.1 per cent of people put the condom on after sex had begun, while between 13.6 and 44.7 per cent said they took the condom off early.
Men were found to struggle with multiple problems when putting a condom on. Up to 45.7 per cent 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.
Meanwhile between four and 30.4 per cent
of participants reported rolling on a condom inside out before flipping
it around after noticing the problem.
Two studies also found that 74.5 per cent of men and 82.7 per cent of women didn't 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.
Breakages and leaks were common problems associated with sex. The results revealed between 0.8 per cent and 40.7 per cent had experienced a condom break, while 13.1 per cent to 19.3 per cent had experienced one leak, depending on the study.
Professor Crosby said the gap between the correct use of condoms and typical use pointed to the need for better education and instructions.
Writing in the journal Sexual Health, the authors said: 'Millions of infections could be avoided by improved user effectiveness'.