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Condoms designed to meet international sizes are too big for most Indian men, a two-year Indian study has found.

The study, co-ordinated by a leading state-run centre, found that more than half of the men measured had penises that were shorter than international standards for condoms.

The Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR), said its initial findings showed 60 per cent of Indian men are between three and five centimetres shorter than the international size specifications used to manufacture condoms.

Researchers surveyed about 1,400 men visiting family planning centres in cities such as Mumbai and Delhi as well as in rural areas, the Times of India reported in a story entitled “Indian men don’t measure up.”

The men were a cross-section of urban and rural dwellers ranging in age from 18 to 50.

The length and width of each erect penis was measured twice, and a digital photograph was taken, the newspaper reported.

Dr. Chander Puri, a specialist in reproductive health at the ICMR told the British Broadcasting Corp. the issue was a serious one.

Puri said that studies have shown about one in every five times a condom is used in India, it tears or slips off.

He is advocating vending machines that offer condoms of different sizes for men who would be too embarrassed to buy smaller-sized condoms at the pharmacy.

The ICMR is expected to recommend condoms that are the right size so as to reduce the rate of failure in the country, which has the world’s highest HIV positive caseload.

Puri also told Reuters one of the reasons for the high failure rate was that couples were eager to put the condoms on in a hurry because of the size discrepancy.

An international delegate at the Asia-Pacific Conference of the Society of Sexual Medicine in Mumbai recently warned that if the study finds geographical distinctions in penis size, it may cause tensions among men in different regions.

 

The ICMR is expected to publish its findings in early 2007.

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