Audit of condom issuing in Eastbourne Sexual Health Clinic Academic Article uri icon


  • A perennial question at meetings of family planning practitioners concerns the numbers of condoms to give to patients. If the condom is to act as an effective contraceptive method, then there must be a condom available for every occasion of sexual intercourse. In recent years, the condom has been promoted as a means of protecting against sexually transmitted infections, including HIV. The 'Double Dutch' approach whereby the condom is used alongside other methods of contraception such as the Pill, has been advocated, particularly for younger people. The condom has consequently become a more commonly used method of contraception, particularly amongst the young and single. The family planning clinic in Eastbourne is now part of an integrated Sexual Health Clinic incorporating family planning (FPC), genito-urinary medicine (GUM), HIV and AIDS clinics. At the time of this audit, steps towards integration were already well advanced. We were keen to develop standards for issuing condoms which took account of identified need in target populations. At the same time clinicians were anxious to avoid waste given that the budget for condoms is finite. Often the idea of using a condom is introduced by clinicians rather than by clients, and this may lead to the issuing of condoms which the client is not motivated to use. We were also keen to eliminate any judgements about frequency of requests for supplies of condoms, and to this end the local Health Promotion Department ran training on sexual history taking which included approaches to asking about frequency of sexual intercourse.

publication date

  • October 1, 1999