One day in middle school, my health teacher showed my class a video starring Captain Condom and Penny-cillin. As you may have guessed, the story was about sexual health and using protection to prevent sexually transmitted diseases.
I've been blessed to have a stellar education when it comes to sexual health, but there's one subject that I don't recall great discussion on: non latex condoms. Now, I'm not plagued with a latex allergy, but many Americans are, which can make choosing a love glove a bit more challenging. In some cases, if you have a severe latex allergy, using a latex condom could be life-threatening. In other, more milder cases, contact with latex causes an itchy or—worse—blistering rash on the skin.
Luckily, non-latex options are available. Here are some more need-to-know facts about latex alternatives, especially for those of you who weren't paying attention in health class.
1. Obviously, they prevent allergic reactions. Anyone with a latex allergy knows that an itchy rash and overall skin irritation is a common side effect. Now imagine those symptoms happening in your intimate areas. Not the most pleasant way to enjoy sex, right? The best alternative is to buy condoms that are latex-free, which brings me to my next point...
2. There's not just one latex-free alternative. Those seeking to avoid latex have a few options when it comes to condoms. Trojan offers a variety of natural skin condoms (to be blunt, made from animal intestines); they are sometimes called sheepskin, lambskin and natural condoms. However, be aware that these "natural" condoms don't prevent STD transmission; they only prevent pregnancy, so make sure you're partner is clean before using them. The other alternatives are condoms made with polyurethane or polyisoprene (like the Lifestyles Skyn Condoms)—they're thin, strong, and get the job done. Bottom line: Do some research before you hit the sheets. 5 Things Everyone Should Know About Condoms
3. Like all condoms, they expire. Before you get down to business with your latex alternative condom, be sure to check the expiration date. They generally expire a bit quicker than latex condoms but can still last up to three years.
So, overall, if latex makes you itch down there, you don't want to use a condom that contains your allergen. But avoiding condoms altogether can still make your nether-regions itch, albeit for dramatically different reasons. To keep the package wrapped—and your sexual health intact — seek latex free condoms and get down to business.
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