When it comes to condoms - one size does not fit all!

According to the Family Planning Association (FPA) men come in all shapes and sizes and so do condoms’ but many men are unaware of this.

In its current campaign 'Sexual Health Week' the FPA is spreading the word that condoms come in a variety of lengths and widths and believes they should be supplied by the National Health Service (NHS).

The aim of the campaign is to raise awareness amongst the public, health and other professionals and to encourage people to use condoms.

An eye-catching poster and informative campaign pack has been sent out to over 2,000 professionals across the public and voluntary sector.

Karen Brewer, Director of Communications at the FPA, says they want the campaign to convey a very serious message in an engaging and witty style in order to demonstrate that the issue is relevant to everyone’s sexual health.

To give the campaign authenticity, posters showing ordinary men from all walks of life, have been used along with an information pack to educate people in the use of condoms.

This follows recent research by the organisation into people’s knowledge and attitudes about condoms and aims to help people avoid unwanted pregnancy and infections.

An FPA survey of 500 people found a third had experienced a condom splitting or coming off during sex and a quarter did not know condoms come in different lengths and widths and half of them found just talking about condom size was embarrassing.

According to the FPA one of the main factors which affects whether a condom is going to split or slip is its fit and people who have had problems lose confidence in using condoms as a contraceptive potentially increasing their risk of unwanted pregnancy or a sexually transmitted infection.

Toni Belfield of the FPA says poor use of condoms can have devastating consequences on people's sexual health and recent figures have revealed that the UK has the highest ever number of new cases of chlamydia and continued high rates of unwanted pregnancies.

Belfield says the NHS is the largest distributor of free condoms in the UK and the FPA wants to see a much wider variety of condoms made available so that people can chose a fit that is right for them from a good selection.

The FPA also wants health professionals to discuss condom use with clients and broach some of the embarrassment that exists around condom use.

The Department of Health says when used correctly condoms provide the best protection against sexually transmitted infections and it is for local sexual health clinics to decide on the range of condoms they make available and distribute free of charge.

According to the NHS sexually transmitted infections have increased over the years but nationally the rate of increase was now slowing down.

The FPA is the only registered charity working to improve the sexual health and reproductive rights of all people throughout the UK.


The opinions expressed here are the views of the writer and do not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of News Medical.
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