Am I allergic to condoms?
Is it common?
If you have frequent and unexplained itching after sex, it could be a sign of an allergic reaction. You may be allergic to condoms, or to any added ingredients, such as the spermicide that is added to the condom package.
Although you may be allergic to any type of condom, latex is most often found guilty. Between 1 and 6% of the population is allergic or sensitive to latex.
Most latex allergies develop slowly, occurring after years of repeated use. They are also much more common among health workers. Some 6-12% of health workers who work with latex gloves end up suffering from allergies.
Below we will present more information to find out about the symptoms of latex allergy and about the alternative products to try and when to consult your doctor.
What are the most common reactions?
In most cases, people who are allergic to latex or other materials will have a local condition. This means that the symptoms will only appear in places where your skin has come into direct contact with the condom.
Symptoms of a localized allergic reaction include:
– an eruption
In severe cases, a complete or systemic reaction is possible. Women are more likely to experience a systemic reaction. This is because the membrane of the vaginal mucosa absorbs latex substances faster than the membrane of a penis.
The symptoms of a systemic allergic reaction are as follows:
– hives in areas that have not come into contact with the condom
– swelling in areas that have not come into contact with the condom
– runny nose or congestion
– wet eyes
– irritated throat
– reddening of the face
In rare cases, anaphylaxis is possible. Anaphylaxis is a life-threatening allergic reaction and in this case it is advisable to go to the hospital urgently!
– difficult breathing
– difficulty swallowing
– swelling of the mouth, throat or face
Why does all this cause latex?
Natural latex, which differs from synthetic latex in paint, is derived from the rubber shaft. It contains several substances that are known to trigger an allergic reaction.
If you have a latex allergy, your immune system confuses these substances with invaders and releases antibodies to fight them. This immune system response can lead to itching, inflammation or other allergic symptoms.
Between 30 to 50 percent of people with latex allergies are also allergic to certain foods. Some foods contain substances that are structurally similar to those found in latex. This means that they can trigger a similar immune response.
You may be more likely to be allergic to latex if you are allergic to:
– passion fruit
Although latex allergies are the most common problem, you may be allergic to other condom materials.
If the given material contains one or more irritating compounds, the immune system will use antibodies to fight them. This can lead to a localized allergic reaction or to the whole body.
How can you avoid the problem of latex but have safe sex?
Although most condoms are made of latex, there are many other materials from which they are made. You need to discuss the issue with your partner and choose the best method for both of you. Made of plastic, polyurethane condoms prevent pregnancy and sexually transmitted diseases, as well as latex condoms. These are produced for both men and women.
Polyurethane is thinner than latex. It transmits heat well and will make sex feel more natural.
But polyurethane doesn’t stretch as much as latex, so it may not be as comfortable. It has a very high chance of slipping or breaking.
Compared to other options, polyurethane condoms are compatible with most lubricants, such as:
– the water
These condoms are the latest in non-latex protection. Some people even prefer them more than latex ones. Polyisoprene is a synthetic rubber. This material conducts heat better than latex, which gives a much more natural feel. It also stretches better than polyurethane. Polyisoprene condoms protect against STIs and pregnancy, but are only available for men and are more sensitive to different types of lubricants. Lambskin condoms were used long before the development of latex or synthetic rubber.
Made from the intestinal mucosa of sheep, these condoms provide a very natural sensation. This results in increased sensitivity, causing many people to say that they do not feel the condom at all, but these condoms are more porous and even if they prevent pregnancy, they do not prevent sexually transmitted infections. These are recommended for people who have very few partners or only one and for those who do their tests beforehand. Lambskin condoms are again only available for men.
Nonoxynol-9 is the most common ingredient in spermicide. It is known to cause irritation in some people, especially when used frequently.
Doctors believed that this spermicide used on condoms could lower the risk of pregnancy and the transmission of certain diseases, but studies have shown that they are as effective as any other condom time.
Although spermicide is no longer used in most condoms, it has not been banned. This means that some condom manufacturers can still add spermicide to their product, but they are labeled accordingly.
It could even be the lubricant you use
Lubricants are designed to enhance sexual pleasure, but contain a wide range of chemicals that can cause irritation.
Most people pay very little attention to the ingredients in their lubricants. However, if you experience frequent irritations or infections, we recommend that you look for something more natural.
Natural lubricants are not compatible with all condoms or toys, so make sure it is ok for your needs.
If the symptoms last more than a day or two or persist after trying alternative options, it is best to consult a doctor.
Your doctor may perform a physical exam and perform tests to see if you have an infection or bacteria. Most genital infections can be eliminated and treated with antibiotics, but if left untreated, certain infections can lead to severe complications, such as infertility.
If everything is ok, you can go to an allergist to find out what substance you are allergic to!