What to Do if you Have a Condom Allergy

Two hands holding a condom
We can’t deny the benefits of condoms. They are used for preventing pregnancy and preventing the spread of sexually transmitted infections and diseases.

There are many different types of condoms out there from ones for those that are on the smaller size to those that are on the larger size. There are also ones that are lubricated, ribbed, flavored, and everything in between.

With that being said, there are people who are allergic to some of the materials that certain condoms are made with.

This can make for a challenge when it comes to protecting yourself, either as a male or a female because being allergic to an ingredient or material isn’t limited to only one person.

Knowing what your allergies are beforehand can prevent any irritation and also help you make decisions for yourself, to include bringing your own protection with you (which should be standard because you can’t rely on the other person to protect you, you’ll want to protect yourself).

Here you’ll learn about some of the allergies that people can face when it comes to condoms and what other options you can try in order to have a comfortable and enjoyable experience.

Symptoms of a Condom Allergy

When it comes to an allergy there are a plethora of symptoms that one can experience from the minor symptoms to something more serious.

However, no two people are going to have the same reaction and knowing what to expect if you do have something going on and when to talk to a doctor.

Some of the symptoms that you might experience with an allergy to latex condoms (or any of the ingredients in the condom/spermicide/lube etc) could be a rash that becomes itchy and red as well as swelling around the parts of the body that came in contact with the materials. Less isolated it could include sneezing, runny nose, and wheezing.[1]

According to the CDC, there are up to about 6 percent of Americans that are allergic/sensitive to latex.[2] While this might not seem like a lot of people, you could be either the one person or the person with a partner who is allergic.

Now we do have to make the distinction between symptoms of an irritant contact dermatitis and allergic contact dermatitis as well as an immediate allergic reaction.[3]

The initial isn’t threatening and is something that is more than likely going to result in skin issues at the location, your basic rash so to speak.

For the allergic contact dermatitis you are going to have again, a rash, but something that might spread to other parts of the body and can last for a longer timeframe than just a simple rash.

The more serious version would be the immediate allergic reaction which can show up as hives, fever-like symptoms, pink eye, and cramping.

The more serious reaction can be an increased heart rate, chest pain, issues with breathing, anaphylactic shock, and even death. These are the more serious issues that can happen with a severe allergy.[4]

Knowing if you have an allergy to this severity you’ll want to make sure that you bring your own protection.

If you don’t know what your symptoms are then you can always ask your doctor to get testing done to see what your actual allergies are.

Options for Those With Latex Allergies

There are plenty of people who have a latex allergy or sensitivity. Condoms are primarily made from latex because of the durability of the product and how long it lasts in order to make it safe for you. If you do have an allergy there are other options for you.

There are actually ones made from polyurethane, polyisoprene, and lambskin.[5] These types of condoms are made from different materials than latex.

Generally, they are a bit more expensive and, while you might have some stores that do not carry them (actually there are a lot of stores that don’t have them), Amazon or LuckyBloke.com can be your friends.

There are so many options online, even to include multipacks that include different brands of non-latex condoms for you to try out.

Another option is a female condom, which is also another option that is not made of latex. But they do have a silicone lubricant so you have to watch the ingredients in that as well.

Just make sure that whatever you use is something that you don’t have an allergy to.

If you are allergic to the spermicide that is on condoms, then you can use condoms that don’t have spermicides and also different types of lubricants.

If you do use natural lubricants, know that they are not always going to be compatible with all types of condoms or toys.[6]

Being Allergic to Condoms is not the Be All End All

Just because you have an allergy to condoms or the spermicides it doesn’t mean that you can’t have safe sex.

There are plenty of options for you when you want to find a suitable solution to your allergy/sensitivity. You can find different condoms, different lubricants, and different spermicides.

Keeping yourself safe is not as hard as it seems and utilizing the tools above and finding out what you are actually allergic to or have a sensitivity to can benefit you in so many ways.

Find what works for you and make sure that whatever you choose you to bring with you, because like stated in the beginning, you have to prepare yourself.

It might not seem like something that you have to think about you have to figure out what it is that you need so you can have an enjoyable sexual experience.

References:

    1. Allergy guide – https://condomerie.com/condomologie/allergiewijzer_toelichtingen?___store=english&___from_store=nederlands
    2. Healthline. Allergic to Condom: Latex, Spermicide, Symptoms, and More. – https://www.healthline.com/health/healthy-sex/allergic-to-condom
    3. See Above #1
    4. See Above #1
    5. Men’s Health Team via Cleaveland Clinic. Have a Latex Allergy? 4 Safe Condom Types for You. – https://health.clevelandclinic.org/have-a-latex-allergy-4-safe-condom-types-for-you/
    6. See Above #2

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