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Even if allergic to latex, there are other condom options
Avoid the excuses, stock up for safe sex
Everybody has that one friend who goes out of her way to make life hard. She can see all the potholes in the street, and her first thought is, “I can make it to the other side.” And she’s always amazed when she gets to the other side but has a flat tire. (If you’re coming up blank for who that friend is, chances are … it’s you.) In my case, though, it was a college friend of mine who was a delightful person but tended to believe anything a man told her, no matter how far-fetched.
One of those stories was a guy who protested any type of safe sex. He declared he had a vasectomy and could not get her pregnant. When I asked her about the paperwork, she said she never saw it. She didn’t want to accuse him of being a liar. A couple months later, they had their first child. His response? “It’s a miracle!”
A year later, she admitted that she’d stopped using birth control pills since he had a “vasectomy.” I pointed out that she could still be at risk of sexually transmitted diseases if she didn’t use condoms. Her response? “I’m allergic. I never use them.”
I rattled off a couple of non-latex alternatives. And the look on her face was like I told her I saw a UFO on my way to the grocery store. To my surprise, no one had ever told her this stuff. So in this post, I hope that these sex health tips are helpful to you and yours, including those who have spina bifida.
Writer’s note: The second half of this post was originally written for my beat as the Chicago Relationships Examiner on January 17, 2010. While the advice is more than a decade-old, it is still all true.
One of the biggest dangers of being allergic to latex condoms is women who choose not to use them at all. Who wants to have sex if you’ll be irritated, in pain or uncomfortable the entire time? However, if they’re not in a monogamous relationship, they’re putting themselves at incredibly high-risk behavior. So what should women with condom allergies do?
Planned Parenthood reports that up to 6% of people are allergic to latex. Become familiar with just what happens when using latex condoms. Web MD also reports that the spina bifida, a birth defect that affects spinal development, can become an issue for some. Babies with spina bifida have early and frequent exposure to latex products such as gloves, leading to a latex sensitivity. Do you have swelling, dryness, itching, rashes, welts or bleeding?
Visit a gynecologist and explain to him or her what is going on when using latex condoms. Ask for suggestions on how to fix this issue, and verify whether it’s the lubricant or the latex. If it’s latex, read on.
Consider lambskin condoms while testing out different types of condoms. Neither type of condom protects against HIV and other STDs, but they’re both effective for pregnancy prevention.
Recommended Read: “North Side Agency pushes for HIV/AIDS testing”
Try non-latex, polyurethane condoms such as Trojan Supra Condoms. If your partner is well-endowed, this will also be helpful for him fitting the condom. If a condom does not fit properly, a woman can also risk STDs.
Use polyurethane female condoms. If you’re intimate with a guy who is well-endowed and the average condom just doesn’t fit, it’s time to try female condoms. These go inside of the vagina.
Test out LifeStyles polyisoprene condoms. LifeStyles is the first condom brand to introduce a clinically tested, FDA approved condom that is less likely to break and adapts to penis size easier.
Visit STD and pregnancy prevention locations to see if they also give out female condoms, polyisoprene condoms and polyurethane sheets to try to save yourself some money. Organizations like these often give out handfuls or bags of condoms. You don’t have to break the bank every time you need to stock up.
Recommended Read: “North Side agency pushes for HIV/AIDS testing," Chicago Defender, June 25 - July 1, 2008
Do not wait until you need condoms to buy them. Because latex condoms are more readily available and cost less, you may have a harder time finding non-latex versions if you wait until an intimate moment. Waiting until the last minute also increases the likelihood that you’ll be lenient “just this one time.” Stock up ahead of time, especially when you’re not sexually active, so you’ll be better prepared when things get hot and heavy.
Make sure you’re prepared with condoms, but don’t let your partner get out of buying them too. Condoms can become an expensive item to buy, especially if they’re non-latex or specialized condoms. Your partner should also be willing to become familiar with these products too for your sake and his.
Do not back down from non-latex condoms. Irritation often leads to breakage and can make for a very uncomfortable sexual encounter. If your partner knows that buying the correct condoms will please you, and you buy correct non-latex condoms to please him as well, you can avoid the excuses that “you let me wear the other kind last time.”
By following any or all of these 10 tips, you can save both of you from a very uncomfortable experience before, during and after sex — especially situations that lead to long-term health problems or a human being asking you for money for 18 years straight.
Did you enjoy this post? You’re also welcome to check out my Substack columns “Black Girl In a Doggone World,” “Homegrown Tales,” “I Do See Color,” “Tickled,” “We Need to Talk” and “Window Shopping” too. Subscribe to my free weekly newsletter to keep up with all posts at once.
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