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Contraception. 2000 Jun;61(6):369-77.

Acceptability evaluation of a natural rubber latex, a polyurethane, and a new non-latex condom.

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Research Division, California Family Health Council, Los Angeles, California 90010, USA.


After more than a century of reliance on latex condoms, male condoms fabricated from new materials are finally becoming commercially available to consumers. This study was an open label acceptability study that compared three lubricated condom products during vaginal intercourse: a natural rubber latex condom, a polyurethane condom, and a new non-latex (styrene ethylene butylene styrene, SEBS) condom. Fifty-four couples who were using condoms for birth control were enrolled in this three-way crossover study. Each couple tested three condoms of each type in a randomized sequence. Couples reported condom performance after each use and rated condom acceptability after use of three condoms of each type. At the completion of the study, participants selected their preferred condom type for overall acceptability, sensitivity, ease of use, appearance, and comfort. All three condom types had low clinical breakage and slippage rates (</= 3.3%) although the polyurethane condom did not perform as well in other measures of performance including unrolling, discomfort, stretching, bunching, and sliding along the penis during intercourse. None of the condom types were statistically preferred overall [males: natural rubber latex 37%, polyurethane 24%, new non-latex (SEBS) 37%, no preference 2%; females: natural rubber latex 33%, polyurethane 27%, new non-latex 37%, no preference 2%]. A statistically higher proportion of couples preferred both the natural rubber latex condom and the new non-latex condom above the polyurethane condom for ease of unrolling, and the natural rubber latex condom above the other condom types for perceived safety. Approximately two-thirds of both male and female participants preferred one of the two condoms made of synthetic materials suggesting that consumers will appreciate the availability of these products.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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