Condoms Provided during the Summer Olympics: By The Numbers

Rio Olympics 2016 (Indian Express)

Rio Olympics 2016 (Indian Express)

By this point, it’s no secret that Olympic Village is famous for hook-ups. (Though whether athletes are partaking before or after their events, who can say?) It makes sense: Throw together thousands of elite athletes from all over the world who are in peak physical shape who’ve trained most, if not all, of their lives, for a sport with a laser focus that more than likely excludes almost everything else. And what better way to blow off some steam during this once-in-a-lifetime experience?

Officials at the International Olympic Committee (IOC) clearly had the same thought, because athletes at the Rio 2016 Summer Olympics have been provided with a record number of condoms: 450K+ condoms were ordered for 10K athletes. This breaks down into 350K male condoms, 100K female condoms, and 175K packets of lube. This further breaks down into 42 condoms per athlete, assuming said athlete stays for the duration of the Games.

Providing condoms to the athletes isn’t a new phenomenon; the practice began during the 1988 Summer Olympics held in Seoul, South Korea. Only 8.5K condoms were provided that year. But that number has steadily grown over the years, and has grown exponentially in the recent past. During the last Summer Olympics held in London in 2012, 150K condoms were provided.

Here’s a data table that shows how the number of condoms has risen during the Summer Olympics:

Number of Condoms Provided During the Summer Olympics, 1988-2016

Number of Condoms Provided During the Summer Olympics, 1988-2016

And a data table that shows the same data for the Winter Olympics:

Number of Condoms Provided During the Winter Olympics, 1992-2014

Number of Condoms Provided During the Winter Olympics, 1992-2014

(Somehow, no data was available for Turin in 2006.)

This data table shows how the number of condoms provided has risen through both the Summer and Winter Olympics:

Number of Condoms Provided During the Summer and Winter Olympics, 1988-2016

Number of Condoms Provided During the Summer and Winter Olympics, 1988-2016

There is one problem with these numbers: Aside from the data from Rio, we can’t tell how many, if any, condoms were female condoms, or if they were all male condoms.

It’ll be interesting to see how the number of condoms provided grows over the next few Olympic Games.

 

 

 

Female Condoms’ Failure Rate Over Long-Term Use

Female Condom demonstrator

Female Condom demonstrator

It seems like everyone is talking about female condoms lately. Maybe your friend has just tried it, or someone else swears by them, but mainstream awareness of the contraceptive measure seems to be growing by the day.

One thing that’s on everybody’s mind: its failure rate.

The Guttmacher Institute (headquartered in New York and Washington D.C.) is way ahead of the curve on this one, having done a female condom usage study on this back in 2005 (almost a decade ago!). From 1995-1998, they observed 869 women ages 18-35 within 2 STI clinics. The control group received only male condoms to use, while the variable group got both female condoms and male condoms as a back-up measure. The women were educated on female condom use. Prior to the study, only three women had used a female condom, and 95% practiced inserting it at the clinic.

The study found that 11% of female condoms slipped out at first use, while declined to less than 1% when used over 15 times. Overall, 3% of all female condoms slipped out, out of 7K+ female condoms used.

For comparison, 7% of male condoms broke when used for the first time, and declined to 2% when used over 15 times. Three percent of male condoms overall broke during use, out of 12K+ male condoms used.

I couldn’t find any studies on female condom use over the long-term from more recent times (within the past five years or so), so it’ll be interesting to see whether the new cultural awareness of the method will result in more people using female condoms more frequently.