Men are twice as likely to remove condoms before ending penile-vaginal sex if the condoms are uncomfortable, according to a study published in the February 2010 issue of the journal Sexually Transmitted Infections and reported by BBC News.

The study also found that if a condom didn’t fit well, it doubled the chance the prophylactic would split or slip off.

For the study, University of Kentucky researchers questioned 436 men who were at least 18 years old and who used condoms for penile-vaginal intercourse in the past three months.

About 45 percent of the men reported ill-fitting condoms. Those men were more likely to report condom breakage and slippage, difficulty reaching orgasm, reduced sexual pleasure for themselves and their sexual partners, irritation of the penis and loss of erection. They were also more likely to remove the condom before penile-vaginal sex ended.

The researchers concluded that improving the fit of condoms would benefit men and their female sex partners.

According to the article, sexual health experts added that education about condom use and the variety of sizes available also was needed. “If we are serious about people being able to use condoms consistently, then we need to listen to their needs,” said Gill Gordon of the International HIV/AIDS Alliance.