Humans have used some form of condom as a prevention against pregnancy and infection for centuries, and maybe longer. Humans have made condoms out of cloths, animal intestines, oiled silk paper, tortoise shells or animal horn and more recently rubber and latex. They have been an instrumental tool in the public health arena keeping unwanted pregnancies down while helping to combat the spread of many STDs like herpes, gonorrhea, cervical cancer, chlamydia, and HIV/AIDS.
One problem that is occasionally reported with men who use condoms is that they lose their erections. This is a public health concern, since this can lead men reducing either the frequency of condom use or abandoning them altogether (given the choice between not having sex because they can't maintain an erection while wearing a condom and having unprotected sex, can you guess what they'll choose).
In one study, which was published in 2006 in the journal Sexual Health, researchers reported that in a sample size of about 300 young men (mean age 23 years), 37 percent of the men experienced one incident of condom associated erection problems (CAEP) in a 3 month period.
However, a new study may put to bed the idea that condom are a cause of erectile dysfunction. As published in The Journal of Sexual Medicine, researchers found that there is no firm evidence for CAEP . The group followed almost 500 men between the ages of 18 and 24 and had them report their ED problems over the previous 90 days, using the International Index of Erectile Function (IIEF-5) as their guide. The result is not terribly surprising: Men with CAEP also had ED problems even when not using condoms. So, no excuses use condoms. They are not the problem.
The researchers concluded by advising physicians that men who experience ED problems should be treated through better condom education (i.e. selecting correct condom and putting it on correctly) and/or through psychosexual therapy.