What does a latex condom allergy feel like
In most cases, people who are allergic to latex or other materials will experience a localized reaction.
This means that symptoms will only appear in places where your skin came into direct contact with the condom.
Symptoms of a localized allergic reaction include:
- a rash that resembles a poison ivy rash
In severe cases, a full-body, or systemic, reaction is possible. Women are more likely to experience a systemic reaction. This is because the mucus membranes in the vagina absorb latex proteins faster than the membranes on the penis.
Symptoms of a systemic allergic reaction include:
- hives in areas that didn’t come into contact with the condom
- swelling in areas that didn’t come into contact with the condom
- runny nose or congestion
- scratchy throat
- watery eyes
- flushing of the face
In rare cases, anaphylaxis is possible.
Anaphylaxis is a life-threatening allergic reaction. Seek emergency medical attention if you have:
- difficulty breathing
- difficulty swallowing
- swelling of the mouth, throat, or face
Is this common?
If you experience frequent and unexplained itching after sex, it could be a sign of an allergic reaction.
You may be allergic to the condom — or any added ingredient, love spermicide — that you or your partner used.
Although it’s possible to be allergic to any type of condom, latex is the most common culprit. Between of Americans are allergic (or sensitive to) latex, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
Most latex allergies develop slowly, occurring after years of repeated exposure.
They’re also far more common among healthcare workers. As numerous as of American healthcare workers are allergic to latex, estimates the CDC.
Keep reading to study more about the symptoms of allergic reaction, alternative products to attempt, and when to see your doctor.
Why does this happen?
Natural latex — which differs from the synthetic latex in paint — is derived from the rubber tree. It contains several proteins that are known to trigger an allergic reaction.
If you own a latex allergy, your immune system mistakes these proteins for harmful invaders and releases antibodies to fight them off. This immune response may lead to itchiness, inflammation, or other allergy symptoms.
About of people with latex allergies are also allergic to certain foods, according to a 2002 study. Some plant-based foods contain proteins that are structurally similar to those found in latex.
This means that they may trigger a similar immune response.
You may be more likely to develop a latex allergy if you’re allergic to:
- passion fruit
- bell pepper
Although latex allergies are the , it’s possible to be allergic to other condom materials.
The premise remains the same: If the given material contains one or more irritating compounds, your immune system will deploy antibodies to fight against them. This can result in a localized or full-body allergic reaction.
It could even be the lubricant that you’re using
Personal lubricants are designed to enhance sexual pleasure, but they contain a wide range of chemicals and preservatives that can cause irritation.
This includes glycerin, parabens, and propylene glycol.
In addition to irritation and itching, these ingredients can cause an overgrowth of bacteria.
This can result in a yeast infection or bacterial vaginosis.
Most people pay little attention to the ingredients in their lubricants. However, if you’re experiencing irritation or frequent infections, you may desire to glance for something more natural.
Try Aloe Cadabra, a natural alternative made from aloe vera and vitamin E. Sliquid Organic’s Natural Lubricant is another excellent option. It’s enriched with botanicals love hibiscus and sunflower seed.
Natural lubricants aren’t compatible with every condoms or toys, so make certain you read the packaging before use.
Your doctor can also answer any questions you own about appropriate and effective use.
If you don’t desire to use any added lube, make certain you’re using a non-lubricated condom.
It could also be the spermicide (nonoxynol-9) on the condom
Spermicides are commonly used in gels, suppositories, and condom lubricants.
Nonoxynol-9 is the most common athletic ingredient in spermicide.
It’s known to cause irritation in some people, especially when used frequently.
Doctors used to believe that spermicide, which kills sperm, could assist protect against pregnancy and certain STIs.
Experts that condoms lubricated with spermicide are no more effective at preventing pregnancy than other condoms.
has also proven that spermicide isn’t effective against STIs. In fact, frequent spermicide use may actually increase your risk of contracting HIV or another infection.
Although spermicide is no longer used on most condoms, it hasn’t been banned across the board.
This means that some condom manufacturers may still add spermicide to their product. These products are labeled accordingly.
If you ponder spermicide is to blame, switch to a regular latex condom. Make certain it’s labeled “lubricated,” but not “lubricated with spermicide.” This male condom from Trojan is a favorite pick.
What can I do?
Although most condoms are made with latex, there are numerous alternatives available.
Discuss your allergy with your sexual partners and select the best non-latex option for both of you.
Made from plastic, polyurethane condoms effectively prevent pregnancy and protect you and your partner from sexually transmitted infections (STIs). They come in both male and female varieties.
Polyurethane is thinner than latex.
It conducts heat well, so they can feel fairly natural.
But polyurethane doesn’t stretch the same way as latex, so these condoms may not fit as well. Because of this, they may be more likely to slip off or break.
If you desire to give this option a go, Trojan Supra Bareskin condoms are a favorite choice. This male condom is only available in one “standard” size, so make certain you and your partner check the fit before use.
Unlike other options, polyurethane condoms are compatible with most lubricants. This includes lubes made from:
These condoms are the newest development in non-latex protection.
Some people even prefer them to latex.
Polyisoprene is a synthetic rubber. This material conducts heat better than latex, which can make for a more natural feel. It also stretches better than polyurethane.
Polyisoprene condoms protect against STIs and pregnancy, but they’re only available for men. They can be used with water- or silicone-based lubricants.
Try Skyn’s original condom, which is made with their patented technology. Durex Genuine Feel non-latex condoms are also made with polyisoprene.
Lambskin condoms were used endless before the development of latex.
Made from the intestinal lining of sheep, these condoms are “all natural.” This results in heightened sensitivity, leading numerous people to tell they can’t feel the condom at every.
However, lambskin condoms are porous, and viruses can pass correct through them.
Although they can effectively protect against pregnancy, lambskin condoms don’t prevent the spread of STIs. They’re recommended for monogamous couples who own tested negative for STIs.
Lambskin condoms are only available in male varieties.
Trojan’s Naturalamb condoms are the only brand available in the United States. They come in one “standard” size, but users report that they’re actually extremely large. Make certain you and your partner check the fit before use.