The University of Southampton
University of Southampton Institutional Repository

Condom use errors and problems: a global view

Sanders, Stephanie A., Yarber, William L., Kaufman, Erin L., Crosby, Richard A., Graham, Cynthia A. and Milhausen, Robin R. (2012) Condom use errors and problems: a global view Sexual Health, 9, (1), pp. 81-95. (doi:10.1071/SH11095).

Record type: Article


Background: Significantly more research attention has been devoted to the consistency of condom use, with far fewer studies investigating condom use errors and problems. The purpose of this review was to present the frequency of various condom use errors and problems reported worldwide.

Methods: A systematic literature search was conducted for peer-reviewed articles, published in English-language journals between 1995 and 2011.

Results: Fifty articles representing 14 countries met criteria for inclusion. The most common errors included not using condoms throughout sex, not leaving space at the tip, not squeezing air from the tip, putting the condom on upside down, not using water-based lubricants and incorrect withdrawal. Frequent problems included breakage, slippage, leakage, condom-associated erection problems, and difficulties with fit and feel. Prevalence estimates showed great variation across studies. Prevalence varied as a function of the population studied and the period assessed.

Conclusion: Condom use errors and problems are common worldwide, occurring across a wide spectrum of populations. Although breakage and slippage were most commonly investigated, the prevalence of other condom use errors and problems found in this review were substantially higher. As a framework for understanding the role of condom errors and problems in inadequate protection, we put forward a new model: the Condom Use Experience model. This model can be used to generate testable hypotheses for future research. Addressing condom use errors and problems in research and interventions is crucial to closing the gap between the perfect use and typical use of condoms.

Full text not available from this repository.

More information

Published date: 17 February 2012
Keywords: condom breakage, condom slippage, sexual behaviour, sexually transmissible infections
Organisations: Psychology


Local EPrints ID: 300120
ISSN: 1448-5028
PURE UUID: 54fdcaef-7f00-4baa-a556-770d3cdb646a
ORCID for Cynthia A. Graham: ORCID iD

Catalogue record

Date deposited: 20 Feb 2012 12:56
Last modified: 18 Jul 2017 06:15

Export record



Author: Stephanie A. Sanders
Author: William L. Yarber
Author: Erin L. Kaufman
Author: Richard A. Crosby
Author: Robin R. Milhausen

University divisions

Download statistics

Downloads from ePrints over the past year. Other digital versions may also be available to download e.g. from the publisher's website.

View more statistics

Atom RSS 1.0 RSS 2.0

Contact ePrints Soton:

ePrints Soton supports OAI 2.0 with a base URL of

This repository has been built using EPrints software, developed at the University of Southampton, but available to everyone to use.

We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. If you continue without changing your settings, we will assume that you are happy to receive cookies on the University of Southampton website.