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How to Choose a Condom, According to Science – 10 Factors to Consider

Protected sex and unwanted pregnancy are the two leading causes for why men and women use condoms. And when picking one out for yourself, it...

Protected sex and unwanted pregnancy are the two leading causes for why men and women use condoms. And when picking one out for yourself, it’s important to get the right kind. 

All the eight factors discussed below should be kept in mind if you’re genuinely concerned about having protected sex and avoiding unwanted pregnancy as well as sexually transmitted diseases (STDs).

1. The Different Condom Sizes

It’s only logical to think that any size of condom will offer a proper fit due to the stretchy nature of the material. But at the same time, not everything that stretches tends to fit everyone in a similar manner.

Not many people know this, but if the condom is too small in size for the penis, the chances of it breaking during sex are quite high. And why do you think that is? It’s because they stretch beyond the tolerable capacity. On the other hand, a condom that’s too big might slip or fall off. And such an accident can open the door to unwanted pregnancy and sexually transmitted diseases.

The ultimate goal of the best condom is to prevent semen from escaping the trap. So what’s the point of wearing a condom if it’s going to either break or come off!

If you’ve just started using condoms, the best advice that I can offer is to opt for a normal or regular size. After using the first one, you can get a bigger or smaller size depending on your needs.

Condom manufacturing companies also offer a size chart that you can refer to for measurement. So there’s no need to head to the store and buy whatever you see first. Purchasing a huge pack or box of ill-fitted condoms also seems like a waste of money. But if you pick the right size, you’ll not only be saving money but condoms too.

Just remember that you have to take factors like protection and effectiveness into consideration as well. And not just comfort.

So here’s the proper breakdown of the different sizes of condoms:

  • Small – 1.75 inches (width) x 6.3 inches (length)
  • Regular – 2.0 inches (width) x 7.9 inches (length)
  • Large – 2.12 inches (width) x 7.9 inches (length)
  • Extra-Large – 2.25 inches (width) x 8.1 inches (length)

As for comfort, it’s the condom’s head size that provides the advantage. And the reason why head size is important is because the penis’s head region (esp. the underside) has the most number of nerves. And you should know that head sizes vary greatly. In the end, it all depends on the style of the condom and the brand you choose.

Many manufacturers give a balloon-like shape to the tip, which offers maximum head freedom. On the contrary, some brands create condoms with a tighter and more streamlined fitting. In fact, a few condoms come with additional thickness. And such a quality goes a long way in making the condom more stretchable.

2. Measuring Your Penis To Buy The Right Condom Size

If you’re a guy reading the article, then I’m sure you know what size your penis is. Most guys measure their junk at least one time out of mere curiosity. But more often than not, they don’t get the precise measurement.

So it’s important that you take a minute longer to get that accurate measurement this time. Once you have that kind of information, you will not regret making the extra effort for the rest of your life. And the reason why I’m saying this is because wearing a well-fitted condom increases the chances of not only protection but pleasure as well.

But before I discuss how to measure the penis, there’s something you need to know. A condom’s length measurement is not the same as the length measurement of your penis. In that case, you have to take the reservoir tip of the condom and ejaculation space of your penis into consideration during the process.

Here are five essential steps you should follow to get that perfect measurement of your penis.

Equipment you need for measuring the penis: Pen, paper, and measuring tape. If you don’t have a measuring tape, then a ruler and string is also fine.

Step #1: Gather all the materials.

Step #2: When fully erect, place the string or measuring tape at your shaft’s base. This is the region where your shaft comes in contact with the pubic bone.

Step #3: Measure the entire length of your penis right up to the tip. Use a pen to make a mark on the string or measuring tape.

Step #4: Then, wrap the tape or string around the penis to measure your girth. But please avoid squeezing your shaft while doing this. And begin the wrapping from the underside. This way you make it easier for yourself to mark the string or tape once it travels to the top.

Step #5: When using a string, lay it down on any flat surface. Then compare both the markings with the ruler to get to the exact measurement.

3. The Different Types Of Condoms

We all know that everything comes in different colors and styles these days, don’t we? And as far as condoms are concerned, you also get options for length, width, and thickness. This means that there’s something for everybody out there.

In that case, it’s time to find out the different types of condoms that exist on the market. But before I talk about that, here’s an important piece of information. Don’t opt for a condom just because its brand spends a huge sum of money on marketing. Brand names and reputations aren’t everything.

Also, the packaging of the condom is almost never useful. The feel and fit of the real product might not live up to the expectations that the brand creates in your head. So don’t judge a book by its cover. It’s important to try different versions to know which one suits you the best.

Since all condoms are not created equal, let’s find out the many options that you get the opportunity to choose from.

Latex condoms: These kinds of condoms are considered to be inexpensive and widely used. Latex is nothing but natural rubber that is a part of certain trees. Generally, condoms for men have a latex construction.

When you use them correctly, they do an excellent job at providing protection against sexually transmitted diseases and pregnancy. The reason why latex condoms are so popular is because they are incredibly durable, inexpensive, and effective.

Fortunately, only five to seven percent of the world population is allergic or sensitive to latex. So if you’re one of them, then the use of the material might cause burning sensations and itching. And that doesn’t sound like such a pleasant experience now, does it?

Another thing that you should probably know about latex condoms is that they tend to get damaged when you use oil-based lubricants on them. This includes body lotion, Vaseline, and baby oil. So it’s best to avoid such indulgences if you don’t want the condom to fail at doing its job.

Polyurethane condoms: These have a plastic sheath composition. What this does is block sperm as well as most viruses. A polyurethane condom is the second best option for those who have latex allergies.

It is relatively thinner than its latex counterpart, which means these condoms transmit more heat. And that makes the experience as natural as possible.

Specialty condoms: These include pleasure-shaped, flavored, textured, and glow-in-the-dark versions. The thing about some specialty condoms is that they are not completely safe for the prevention of sexually transmitted diseases and pregnancy.

The best way to determine if the condom is effective or not is to check its packaging. The product should have an FDA-approved label. It will also provide you with all the information you need about HIV and STD prevention. And if the package doesn’t offer this kind of information, you’re better off with something more reliable.

Non-latex condoms: There is a broad range of non-latex condoms to choose from. They are an option for those who are allergic to the latex material. Plus, they also have a different feel than the latex variety. And this is the primary reason why many people prefer using them.

Insertable condoms: These are also known as female condoms. The insertables are an excellent alternative to regular male condoms. They act as an effective barrier to prevent pregnancy while also avoiding the transmission of HIV and STDs.

Insertable or female condoms don’t have a latex structure. They are constructed with nitrile instead. And women can wear them inside the anus or vagina.

Animal membrane condoms: What you can look forward to the most in these types of condoms is their capacity to prevent pregnancy. But the disappointing part is that they don’t offer the much-needed protection against sexually transmitted diseases.

The membrane consists of microscopic openings that allow viruses like HIV to get through. But this doesn’t apply to sperm since it’s bigger. In that case, the animal membrane version is suitable for a monogamous HIV-free, STD-free couple.

4. Understanding The Condom Thickness, Shape, And Texture

Everybody knows that now you even get ribbed or textured condoms. These are designed this way to bring more pleasure into play. Men usually complain about losing sensations with a condom. So having intercourse with a ribbed or textured one brings back those sensations. And that is something you don’t get with the regular versions.

As for the shape, it depends from person to person. If you prefer using a specifically shaped condom, there are no reasons why you shouldn’t buy them.
How to Choose a Condom, According to Science – 10 Factors to Consider
Now it’s time to talk about the thickness of the condom. You should know that it plays a significant role in the present times. And that’s because humans have developed preferences due to the presence of so many options.

What I mean to say is that some men prefer condoms that have a thin layer. And the others go for their comparatively thicker counterparts. In the case of both the former and latter, it’s advisable to not use 2 condoms at one time. Wearing double condoms doesn’t mean you get two layers of protection.

In fact, the effect is reversible. It means that if you wear 2 condoms, the chances of both breaking are highly likely. So the whole purpose of the condom gets defeated.

5. The Condom Length – An Important Factor

If you’re wondering what length you should opt for, here’s a section that answers all your questions. As soon as you hear condom size, what comes to mind first? Without the shadow of a doubt, it’s the condom length, right?

Measuring the length of the penis to determine condom size is the right approach. The majority of men do that in order to work with condoms of the perfect length. But length isn’t the only crucial factor based on average size.

Let me explain this by discussing a study. The average penis length of a research that involved 15,000 men was 3.7 inches around the circumference or base and 3.6 inches near the tip opening. But during an erection, as is always the case, the penis swelled up. As a result of which, the average length increased to 4.6 inches around the circumference while the overall length reached 5.2 inches.

So what does this imply? It means that the bulk of condoms on the current market leave no room for complaints when it comes to the length factor. The available sizes are not only perfect but more than satisfactory as far as the length is concerned.

Another thing that I’m trying to put across here is that users don’t need to roll open the condoms completely. Since most of the condoms fall somewhere between 8.5 inches and 6.5 inches in length, you have nothing to worry about. Not unless the size of your penis is more than the average measurement.

In that case, you should make it a point to take condom length into consideration. And the best way to go about it is to check the size chart of the condom brand.

6. The Condom Width – Another Important Factor

The first thing to understand here is that condom width multiplied by two equals circumference. This is measurement value around the penis shaft. So if you want to measure the correct width of the condom, what you need to do is unroll it across any flat ruler. Then take the measurement from one side of the edge to the other.

When you double the value, you get the circumference of the condom. For example, when a condom has a width of 2.4 inches, the circumference is 4.8 inches. This particular factor should be taken into account if the width of a condom matters to you.

In that context, if you’re searching for a relatively wider condom, you can check the brand’s size chart. Both length and width are important when you want the condom to fit properly. Otherwise, having intercourse with a condom becomes not only annoying but inconvenient as well. And that’s the thing we should all avoid, am I right?

7. The Significance Of Condom Circumference

Also known as “girth factor”, circumference goes a long way when it comes to buying well-sized condoms. And this primarily applies to men with smaller endowments. When the penis size is below average, girth factor plays a crucial role.

At such times, taking girth instead of length into consideration makes more sense. The condom length might be slightly on the excessive side, but remember that you don’t need to unroll it completely.

At the same time, don’t forget that a larger girth increases the chances of the protection slipping off. So it’s necessary to not neglect the width/girth/circumference and only focus on the length factor.

8. Understanding The Myth Of “Large Sized Condoms”

Condoms that come with a large size label are misleading. These aren’t comparatively larger than their average-sized counterparts. You can go ahead and gather all sizes to check if such a thing called “Large Sized Condoms” even exists or not.

These types of condoms are tagged as Kyng, Mega, Anaconda, and Huge. But in real-life, they aren’t as large as the brand claims them to be. As a matter of fact, some of them are even smaller than the average size.

So don’t be fooled by what’s printed on the cover. Before deciding what to use, it’s always a better idea to try one on. You don’t want to be making a mistake by wearing an ill-fitted condom during intercourse!

9. More About Condom Sizes

To sum it up, I have discussed the four most important concerns associated with condom sizes. If you want to pick the right size, you need to keep a few things in mind. So it’s time to find out what they are.
  • As I explained earlier, condom width is just as crucial as condom length. If you want to compare condom sizes, you should know the width. The standard width of condoms falls somewhere between 2 inches and 1.75 inches.
  • On the other hand, condoms that have a width less than 1.75 inches offer a snug fit. And the ones above 2 inches are considered to be the largest.
  • Now comes the part where I talk about condom length. This particular factor might be confusing because not all manufacturers use the same measurements. If company A describes its product as large in size, the chances of company B listing the same size as average is highly likely.
  • Therefore, you need to have access to a reliable, general guide. In that case, you should know that standard condoms offer a length between 7.25 inches and 7.8 inches. The smaller size is somewhere between 7 inches and 7.8 inches. And the larger versions range from 7.25 inches to 8.1 inches.
  • So consider this as a rule of thumb when taking an important factor such as condom length into account.
  • Thickness or girth is the next point of discussion. It is the second significant factor that affects the fit of a condom. When the girth falls above average, you can’t wear standard condoms. These might feel a tad too tight.
  • On the contrary, when the girth of the penis is below average, any standard condom might slip off at the time of sex.
  • With that in mind, you should find out the circumference of your penis to determine what width suits you best.
  • This goes without saying that purchasing a condom based on the shape and size of a non-erect or relaxed penis is not a correct approach. When the penis is not erect, natural settings like cold weather cause it to shrink temporarily. And this makes the penis at least one or two inches smaller.

    10. Check What’s On The Condom Box

    Don’t dismiss all the information printed on the box or cover of the condoms. Not all brands indulge in mindless marketing. There are some condoms on the market that help dealing with certain types of issues. So now, more than ever, reading that condom label is necessary. Allow me to elaborate.
    • When a condom cover states that it’s suitable for extended pleasure, here’s what it means. It implies that the condom contains a numbing cream, mild in nature, near the tip region. And what this does is contribute to prolonging the sexual experience.
    On the downside, this might not be great news for men who find it difficult to climax soon. So at such times, using a valuable love glove like this is susceptible to backfiring.

    Along the same lines, there are sensitive, ultra-thin condoms. These are crafted to tackle issues like sensation loss. This is a common problem that many condom-wearing men complain about. However, if you’re quick in the sack, you don’t need a condom that offers more sensation.

    So you should make it a point to go through the text printed on the box of the condoms. Failing to do so might simply hinder your performance level in bed. This sounds more like a make or break experience, doesn’t it?

    Advantages Of Using A Condom

    The thing about condoms is that they are easy and convenient to use as well as buy. They help in preventing STDs and pregnancy. In fact, they also make sexual intercourse better. Let’s find out more!

    Protection against STDs: Both female and male condoms serve as birth control methods. But what condoms also do is prevent the development and spread of STDs (sexually transmitted diseases). These include HIV.

    So it doesn’t matter if you or your partner is taking birth control pills, using a condom offers protection against STDs as well. That means it’s not just pregnancy you’re trying to avoid with a condom.

    Condoms are inexpensive: Condoms are products that you can easily buy at general stores, health centers, and even online. They require no ID or prescription. And on top of that, condoms are affordable, on some occasions even free. So buying a condom doesn’t burn a hole in your wallet.

    Furthermore, all condoms on the retail market are portable, discreet, and small. So you don’t need to go out of your way or spend big bucks to gain access to pregnancy and STD protection.

    Condoms enhance pleasure: Protection and pleasure both are necessary. And a condom offers both. It comes in different textures, shapes, and styles that contribute to increasing sensation. And this applies to both partners involved.

    When a woman or your partner is putting on the condom for you, it can be quite turning on during foreplay. What’s more is that condoms delay the process of ejaculation. So you can expect sex to last longer when using them.

    Irrespective of how you like to get down, condoms are created for vaginal, anal, and oral sex. One of the primary goals is to provide STD protection. So it doesn’t really matter where the penetration is aimed at.

    In fact, that’s the best thing about condoms. They allow you to concentrate on nothing but pleasure. Worrying about issues like STDs or pregnancy is thing of the past when a condom comes into the picture.

    In all, protected sex is better than any sex as it eliminates unnecessary stress from ruining the sexual experience. Nothing is worse than butchering the mood during sex.

    Condoms boost the effect of other birth control methods: Double pregnancy protection means using a condom and taking birth control pills. As you already know, no single birth control method is entirely effective. So adding two forms of protection goes a long way in preventing pregnancy.

    If method A fails, you have method B to fall back on. All the more reason to wear a condom, right!

    Condoms add that extra protection to not just birth control pills, but also other methods. These include shots, IUD, rings, and implants.

    But that doesn’t mean it’s okay to use a male and female condom together at the same time. You should only wear a single condom for one session. One is more than enough to protect you from both pregnancy and STDs.

    Zero side effects: Condoms offer nil side effects, isn’t that impressive? Even though latex condoms cause a negligible amount of irritation, it only occurs when you have latex sensitivities or allergies. On rare occasions, the lube present on certain kinds of condoms also tends to give rise to mild irritation.

    In that case, if you’re sensitive or allergic to materials such as latex, you can feel free to switch brands. Also, plastic condoms are the next best option. There are many female condoms as well that have a soft plastic construction. These are latex-free versions like nitrile, polyisoprene, and polyurethane.

    And buying such condoms is not a difficult task at all. You get these at the same stores from where you would normally purchase the regular, latex ones.

    The buying process is pretty straightforward. Nevertheless, if you make a mistake, you need to know that you’re not alone. The percentage of men slipping up during intercourse is quite high.

    Condoms are considered to be the best methods of STD prevention and birth control. However, if you end up using one incorrectly, it can lead to a plethora of problems. These include erectile dysfunction, STDs, or unwanted pregnancy.

    As a matter of fact, one of the leading causes of erectile dysfunction is associated with condoms. Sometimes broken condoms, ill-fitted condoms, or ones that you take off early during the intercourse might cause erectile problems.

    To make sure that nothing of that sort happens to you or your partner, you need to keep an open mind. What I mean to say is that maybe now is the time to have that conversation regarding condoms. Before you even tear open the condom package, you have to be able to talk about the product with your partner freely.

    More often than not, men who avoid talking about the use of condoms prior to sex tend to experience embarrassment and anxiety. And this, in turn, has a major negative impact on their level of performance. Now that doesn’t sound like such a pleasant idea, does it?

    For this reason, it’s important to find a condom of the right size. Not all men have the same penis length and width. Some men are shorter than the taller ones. And not just condoms, but penises too come in different sizes and shapes. That’s the reason why condom manufacturing companies offer so many options in the first place.

    So compare the new one to your past experiences. Did you ever use a condom that was too tight or that slipped off during sex? If yes, then make it a point to not buy a condom of the same length and width.

    Condoms that seem too small or snug make you feel uncomfortable and restricted. On the other hand, too large condoms pose the danger of slipping off at the time of intercourse. So please measure your penis correctly if you want to eliminate these tragedies from taking place. Not only do they lead to unwanted pregnancy or STDs, such problems also tend to ruin the sexual experience.

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