Size does matter – only when it comes to choosing condoms!

4 April 2015

Men come in all different shapes and sizes – it would be a strange (and boring) world if they didn’t. So nobody should be surprised to learn that penises do too. Happily, male condoms also come in a variety of shapes and sizes, which means everyone should be able to find the right size and shape condom for them.

Why is condom fit important?

If a condom doesn’t fit there’s a greater chance it will split, slip or leak.

A condom that’s too small may split or tear, while a condom that doesn’t provide a snug fit could slip off or leak. This means they would not be effective at helping prevent pregnancy or protect against sexually transmitted infections.

And really importantly, a badly fitting condom might not feel comfortable, which means you won’t enjoy sex as much as you would otherwise.

What are the different condom sizes?

Condoms vary in length, width and shape. Some are straight, while others are flared at the end, to better fit the shape of the penis.

Different condom manufacturers tend to have their own names for different sizes – for example smaller condoms might be called trim, snug, close fit or comfort.

Information about condom dimensions is sometimes on condom packets, and usually on the manufacturers’ websites – they are measured by width and the length.

Some condom manufacturers also have templates which can be printed on paper and matched to a size of condom.

It’s a good idea to try out different sizes so you can see which feels most comfortable for you – start off with regular and then move up or down as needed until you find the brand and fit that’s best for you. Try them out by yourself rather than in the heat of the moment with a partner so that if it’s a bad fit you’re not tempted to give up and not use a condom at all, or risk it splitting or slipping off.

Buying condoms for your sex toy

Sexually transmitted infections (STIs) can be passed on through sharing sex toys so if you’re going to share, it’s a good idea to cover them with a new condom every time, before anyone else uses them.

There are also types of bacteria that are harmless in the anus but can cause infection in the vagina, so if you are moving a sex toy from use in the anus to vagina, use separate condoms for each. 

As sex toys come in different sizes, the condom size you need for dildos and vibrators might be different to the size you usually buy.