Background: An essential yet understudied aspect of condom use is whether they are used correctly.
Goal: The goal of the study was to comprehensively evaluate condom use errors and problems reported by heterosexual college men (N = 158).
Study Design: A cross-sectional survey, involving a 3-month recall period, was conducted.
Results: Of the 158 participants, 60% did not discuss condom use with their partner before sex; 42% reported they wanted to use condoms but did not have any available; 43% put condoms on after starting sex; 15% removed condoms before ending sex; 40% did not leave space at the tip; 30% placed the condom upside down on the penis and had to flip it over; and 32% reported losing erections in association with condom use. Nearly one-third reported breakage or slippage during sex. Few participants reported errors related to lubrication, storage, and reusing condoms. Higher error scores were associated with breakage/slippage rather than with consistency of condom use.
Conclusion: Condom use errors were common, and error scores were associated with breakage and slippage. Increasing the focus on correcting potential user failures may be an important public health strategy.