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Contraception. 2012 Oct;86(4):391-6. doi: 10.1016/j.contraception.2012.01.016. Epub 2012 Mar 23.

Condom type may influence sexual behavior and ejaculation and complicate the assessment of condom functionality.

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  • 1Department of Gynecology and Obstetrics, Emory University School of Medicine, Atlanta, GA 30303, USA. lbhadda@emory.edu



Studies that evaluate condom effectiveness are affected by factors related to how the condom was used, and these factors may not be consistent between different types of condoms. Also, subjective assessments of the sexual act may be unreliable.


We performed a secondary data analysis of a randomized crossover trial of male and female condoms among 108 couples.


Self-reported duration and activeness of coital acts were significantly different for uses of the male condom compared to uses of the female condom. Fewer individuals reported ejaculation occurring with the female condom. Reliability of self-reports of ejaculation compared to a biological marker of semen detected inside the used male and female condoms was not strong.


We found that sexual behaviors appear to differ by the type of condom used for the coital act. Studies should consider sexual behavior when evaluating condom effectiveness. Furthermore, studies would be strengthened by the use of a biological marker of semen to determine whether ejaculation, and therefore a true risk of exposure, occurred.

Copyright © 2012 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

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