Erection loss in association with condom use among young men attending a public STI clinic: potential correlates and implications for risk behaviour.

Oxford Doctoral Course in Clinical Psychology, Oxford, UK.
Sexual Health (Impact Factor: 1.65). 01/2007; 3(4):255-60. DOI:10.1071/SH06026
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT To assess prevalence of condom-associated erection loss and to identify correlates of erection loss among men attending a sexually transmissible infections (STI) clinic.
Men (n = 278) attending an STI clinic responded to an anonymous questionnaire aided by a CD recording of the questions. The sample was screened to include only men who had used a condom during penile-vaginal sex at least three times in the past 3 months. Erection loss was assessed for 'the last three times a condom was used'.
The mean age of the participants was 23.7 years (s.d. = 4.1); 37.1% of the men reported condom-associated erection loss on at least one occasion. Men who had reported condom-associated erection loss were also reported having more frequent unprotected vaginal sex (P = 0.04) and were less likely to use condoms consistently (P = 0.014) than men without erection loss. Men with erection loss were also more likely to remove condoms before sex was over (P = 0.001). Age and race/ethnicity were not associated with erection loss. In multivariate analysis, three significant statistical predictors were identified: low self-efficacy to use condoms (P = 0.001); problems with 'fit or feel' of condoms (P = 0.005); and having more than three sex partners during the previous 3 months (P = 0.02).
Condom-associated erection loss may be common among men at risk for STIs. This problem may lead to incomplete or inconsistent condom use. Men may be more likely to experience condom-associated erection loss if they lack confidence to use condoms correctly, if they experience problems with the way condoms fit or feel, and if they have sex with multiple partners.

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