Sex Trouble? Condoms Might Not Be at Fault

Erection difficulties due to condom use may also occur without condoms for some men

When it comes to trouble in the bedroom, condoms might be an easy target for blame. But these pregnancy- and disease-preventing items may not be at fault.

In a recent study, researchers looked at how condom use might affect erection difficulties. They found that men who said condoms prevented them from maintaining adequate erections often had similar problems when not using a condom.

"Condom-associated erection problems have been a very under-researched topic," said study co-author Cynthia Graham, of the Department of Psychology at the University of Southampton, in a press release. "Increasing evidence suggests, however, that they may influence whether condoms are used correctly or from start to finish of sex."

Dr. Graham and colleagues surveyed 479 heterosexual men.

The men were 18 to 24 years old. Most were college-educated. They said they had used condoms an average of 10 times in the preceding 90 days.

Dr. Graham and team asked the men in this study about problems related to condom use. Common problems included trouble with erections, slippage, pregnancy and broken condoms.

Men who reported being depressed or anxious were more likely to report erection difficulties than those who were not. Men who reported erection difficulties were also more likely to report trouble when not using a condom.

Men who were taking medication for attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) reported more erection problems when using a condom.

More than one-third of the respondents had never been taught how to correctly use a condom, Dr. Graham and team found. These researchers said patients should receive instruction if necessary.

This study was published in the Journal of Sexual Medicine.

The Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development of the National Institutes of Health funded this research.

The authors disclosed no conflicts of interest.