By Melissa Keyes DiGioia


By the end of this lesson, participants will be able to:

1. Name at least one reason why condoms might slip or break.

2. List three aspects of the male sexual anatomy that can impact the size of a condom that is needed.

3. Demonstrate an understanding of how to use a custom sized-to-fit condom kit to determine an appropriately sized condom.


Research indicates that condom conversations should include information about penile dimension and condom fit and feel. In one study, males that had larger penile dimensions (circumference and length) were more likely to describe condoms as being too short and too tight, while men with smaller penile dimensions described problems with a loose condom fit. A later study found that men who reported using an ill-fitting condom at last sexual intercourse were more likely to report slippage, breakage, genital irritation, loss or interference of erection, reduction of pleasure, difficulty with orgasm, early removal of a condom and condom dryness. Better-fitting condoms can make a big difference in usage. Reece, et. al. (2008) found that males with larger penile lengths that used custom sized-to-fit condoms reported a reduction of condom breakage, and others with better-fitting condoms reported greater confidence in the product to protect from transmission of infection.

These studies suggest that attitudes about condom comfort, as well as actual condom usage may be impacted by penile dimension and how it relates to the condom size and shape. In this lesson, participants will discover the real-world variation in penile dimension and condom size and learn how to use an instrument to determine and order custom sized-to-fit condoms.

Note: This lesson is recommended for older participants, with prior learning about the male sexual anatomy and function. Since many men are concerned about the size of their penis, the facilitator is encouraged to note repeatedly that diversity in penile length and circumference is perfectly normal.

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