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Monday, 1 October, 2001, 11:38 GMT 12:38 UK
Condoms made to measure
Condoms
The condom failure rate is high in India
Indian health officials have launched a study to try to improve the sizing of condoms available to the male population.

The Health Ministry is concerned about the high failure rate among currently available contraceptives.

It plans survey the size of penises across the country with a view to manufacturing condoms that offer the user a made-to-measure fit.


The long and short of it is that while all condoms are of the same size, all penises are not

Indian Express
The Indian Express newspaper reported that seven centres around the country carry out the research.

Each centre will identify 300 volunteers, mostly relatives of patients admitted at hospitals.

The researchers will measure the length and width of each erect penis, and take a digital photograph.

Scientist RS Sharma, from the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) is in charge of the project.

He said: "We are now developing a software that will translate pictures automatically into measurements of width and length."

Variation

NC Saxena, ICMR head of reproductive biology, said: "Once the variation in size is known, condoms can be tailored to the needs of different regions."

The aim of the project is to reduce the current condom failure rate, which is as high as 20%.

Condoms are currently made in a size specified by the World Health Organisation and the International Standards Organisation.

ICMR officials said only 3% of Indians use condoms while 52% do not use any contraceptive method.

Population growth in India, the second largest country in the world after China with a population over one billion, slowed during the last decade.

But the country, which has state-run condom firms, is keen to further slow down the rate of population growth.

There are wide variations in the physical characteristics of people from different regions of India.

People from the south tend to be shorter and darker, while those in the north tend to be fair, tall and burly.

See also:

17 Jun 00 | Health
'Invisible condoms' go on trial
02 Aug 01 | Sci/Tech
World numbers 'may peak by 2100'
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