Small penis — will my condom fall off?

Originally Published: February 8, 2008 - Last Updated / Reviewed On: March 22, 2011
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Dear Alice,

I was wondering if it is possible for a man's penis to be too small for a condom to work properly? No specific dilemma in my case, just wondering, thanks!

Dear Reader,

People come in all different sizes (penises included). To answer your questions — yes, if a man's penis is too small for the condom, this can lead to condom failure due to slippage or falling off. Condoms should fit snugly and should not have excess or loose material.

Because the wrong condom size can lead to condom failure, and put people at risk for sexually transmitted infections (STIs), HIV, and pregnancy, condom manufacturers make condoms of varying sizes. Studies, such as one carried out by the Indian Council of Medical Research, have shown that standard-sized condoms may not fit all men, and have recommended that condoms be available in various sizes to help prevent the spread of STDs and HIV. 'Snug' fit condoms, available where other condoms are sold, are smaller and may work better for men with smaller penises.

For more information about finding condoms that fit, check out Condom sizes... how do I know what fits? in the Go Ask Alice! archives. If a condom did fall off during sex and pregnancy or STIs are a concern, you can find out more about what to do in Emergency contraception? and What STIs are "testable" — and who is infected, anyway?.

Even if penis size is not your dilemma, it's probably someone else's, so thanks for asking.

Alice