Evaluation of acceptability of the use of internal and external condoms in couples: a cross-over study
Keywords:Condoms; Functional acceptability; Sexual behavior; Sexual health; Cross-over studies.
Objective: To evaluate the acceptability (comfort, ease of use, lubrication, and pleasure) of internal and external condom use in stable couples. Metodology: This randomized cross-over trial included 54 couples (108 adult individuals). Participants were asked to evaluate acceptability measures of both types of condoms using the Visual Analogue Scale. We developed a three-level hierarchical model [level 1= three repeated measures (wave, type of condom); level 2= individual (gender, age); level 3= couple (sequence of presentation of female versus external condom)]. Results: The "ease of use" dimension represented the biggest difference between the types of condoms for men (Hedges 'g = 0.96; p <0.0001) and women (Hedges' g = 1.62; p <0.0001). Regardless of gender, external condoms performed better (1.61; 95% HPD = 1.41 – 1.81). Men gave lower scores in general (-0.62; 95% HPD = -1.16 − -0.10). Conclusion: The external condom scored better than the internal condom for women and their male partners. The scores tended to improve with the repetitive use of the condom. There is no evidence of the influence of the age of the individuals or the randomly selected sequence of use of condoms with regards to the mean score of the four dimensions.
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