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Health & Wellness

Does condom size really matter?

Research consistently shows that many men avoid condoms because they do not fit or are uncomfortable. In studies dating back to 1993, 40-45 percent of men have suffered problems with fit or comfort from “one-size-fits-all” condoms. Common complaints include the condom being too loose, tight, long or short, resulting in loss of erection, de-sensitivity, and difficulty achieving orgasm.

“We believe that condom fit is the next great frontier when it comes to increasing use and acceptability,” said Davin Wedel, president of Global Protection Corp., parent company of ONE Condoms. “Shoes and pants come in different sizes, so why not condoms?”

This is the reason why the company is introducing 56 condom sizes, including sizes larger and smaller than those currently available, marking a historic shift in the range of condoms that are cleared for sale by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in the US. This way, as Wedel said, “(we) bring this solution to millions of men who are frustrated by condoms that just don’t work for their bodies.”

Research consistently shows that many men avoid condoms because they do not fit or are uncomfortable. In studies dating back to 1993, 40-45 percent of men have suffered problems with fit or comfort from “one-size-fits-all” condoms. Common complaints include the condom being too loose, tight, long or short, resulting in loss of erection, de-sensitivity, and difficulty achieving orgasm.

Safety may be compromised due to improper coverage if the condom is too short. Research also shows that men who wear condoms that do not fit properly are more likely to report slippage and breakage of the condom. In a large condom study of 820 men conducted by Indiana University researchers, fitted condoms broke half as often as one-size-fits-all condoms. The study also found users of fitted condoms were much more likely to purchase or recommend a fitted condom over a one-size-fits-all condom.

At least in the US, condoms are classified as Class II medical devices, and must conform to standards set by American Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM). The minimum allowed condom length set by ASTM was 6.69 inches; and with the introduction of myONE’s products, condoms will be available starting at 4.92 inches. The allowed condom width set by ASTM prior to myONE was 1.85 to 2.24 inches. MyONE widths will range from 1.77 to 2.52 inches. In contrast, studies show that penis size varies greatly, with lengths ranging from about 1.57 to 10.24 inches and widths ranging from about 0.5 to 3.16 inches.

The introduction of an expanded range of condom sizes may also have positive ramifications for the public health sector, where health educators often meet resistance to condom use because of comfort.

“There’s a common health demonstration where an educator will put their fist, a watermelon, or some other large object inside a condom to show that it’s silly for guys to complain about condom fit,” said Jared Maraio, also with myONE. “Just because something fits, it doesn’t make it comfortable. myONE makes the argument that people don’t have to choose between comfort and safety.”

“Providing an expanded range of condom sizes has powerful implications for increasing condom use and making a positive impact on public health over all,” Wedel ended.

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