Cape Town - It’s a problem sexologists have been pondering for some time – if there were custom-made condoms available, would more men use them?
This question was the subject of a city survey recently with the aim of encouraging men to use condoms to prevent HIV and Aids, STIs and unwanted pregnancies.
The problem is the penis varies quite a bit. While the average length has been established by a number of studies at 14.2 centimetres long when erect, it can also vary from 3.81cm to 25.4cm long.
The average circumference when erect is 12.3cm.
The study, in July and August, 2013,was funded by Emory University in the US and conducted by four Emory students and the Human Sciences Research Council.
HRSC research specialist Allanise Cloete said it was conducted at four healthcare facilities and among long-distance truckers in Epping.
“We interviewed 130 heterosexual men as well as several sex workers,” she said.
Unlike standard condoms, custom-made condoms come in 95 sizes and are made to fit penile length and girth.
“Research in the US and Europe has found that the fit and feel of male condoms is one of the most significant variables affecting consistent use. Men who report poor condom fit are more likely to report condom errors, including breakage and slippage, as well as sexual difficulties and reduced sexual pleasure for both partners,” an article in the council’s monthly magazine read.
It said there was less slipping and breakage of condoms when condoms were custom made according to individual penile dimensions.
South Africa lacked information on how men felt about custom-made condoms and how feasible it was to have them at healthcare facilities.
Study results will be available at the end of the year. - Cape Times