What are latex condoms, and why are they so popular?

Latex condoms
Latex condoms: Latex is a natural rubber, which is commonly found in certain species of trees. These condoms offer adequate protection as high as 98% against pregnancy and STIs.

Latex condoms are one of the most popular types of male condoms that feature natural rubber, and this latex rubber sheath helps prevent pregnancies and most STIs. Most companies use latex material for manufacturing different textures of condoms around the world due to the easy availability of material and uncomplicated applications.

Advantages of latex condoms

Latex condoms
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  • Many medical studies prove that the effectiveness of latex condoms is as high as 98%.
  • These condoms are safe to use and approved by the Food & Drug Administration.
  • They have unique flexible properties; therefore, chances of breaking and slipping seldom arise.
  • They are available in all sizes ranging from Small, Medium, Large to Xtra Large.
  • These condoms are available in various textures like dotted condoms, ribbed condoms, ultrathin condoms for added pleasure and protection.
  • They are easy to use with both water and silicone-based lubricants.
  • They are readily available at online pharmacies and are the least expensive.

Disadvantages of latex condoms

There are two main disadvantages of latex condoms. First, these condoms need to be used with water and silicone-based lubricants only. A couple cannot risk using latex condoms with oil-based lubricants, including cooking oil, mineral oil, and petroleum jelly. The second disadvantage is many people are allergic to latex material.

How to know if you are latex-allergic?

how to know if you are latex allergic
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If you experience any unfavorable response on the skin, such as hives, rash, swelling, irritation, or itching after you wear it, you are allergic to the latex material. Both males and females can experience these kinds of symptoms. In some rare cases, people reported difficulty breathing as one of the severe symptoms of latex allergy.

This kind of sign occurs when the human body reacts adversely with the latex proteins, and it is recommended that you go for a blood or skin test to find out about the latex allergy. With increased cases of latex allergies among people, manufacturers were compelled to look after other materials. And, this led to the introduction of non-latex condoms in the marketplace.

What are Non-Latex Condoms?

Non latex condoms
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A non-latex condom is a condom made from materials other than latex. Some of the common materials used for manufacturing non-latex condoms are lambskin, polyurethane, and polyisoprene. All these materials have specific pros and cons. For instance, the polyurethane condoms feature thin plastic and not rubber and offer a similar protection level against STD and pregnancy as latex condoms. But they do not fit as tightly as latex condoms.

Non-latex condoms are the best to use by people who are allergic to latex condoms. These condoms are a good conductor of heat but do not stretch as much as the latex does. Let’s take a quick look at the main points of differences between latex and non-latex condoms.

The polyisoprene condoms support synthetic rubber and stretch more than latex and polyurethane condoms. Lambskin condoms are natural condoms made from sheep intestines. These condoms are effective against pregnancy but not very useful in the case of STDs. However, if you find none of these condoms useful, the only option is to convince your partner to use a female condom.

  • Non-latex condoms conduct better heat than latex condoms.
  • Some people experience allergic reactions like redness or irritation after wearing latex condoms, whereas the non-latex condoms do not lead to an allergic reaction.
  • The latex condoms are thicker than non-latex condoms.
  • The latex condoms are not as soft as non-latex ones.
  • The non-latex condoms have no smell, whereas the latex ones have a scent that stays on the penis for a long duration.
  • The chances of breakage and slipping are more in non-latex condoms.  
  • You can use non-latex condoms with all kinds of lubricants.
  • Unlike latex condoms, a limited variety of non-latex condoms is available in the marketplace.
  • Not-latex condoms are a little pricier than latex condoms.

Safe usage of condoms

How to use condom safely
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Whether you are using latex or non-latex condoms, it is essential to follow these rules:

  • Always store your condoms at such a place where elements like heat, light, and humidity are not present.
  • Always check the expiry date of every condom before wearing it.
  • Do not tear the condom packet with a sharp object like teeth or a knife.
  • Check the appearance of the condom carefully. If you find it fragile or sticky, do not use it.
  • Avoid any contact between the penis, genitals, or anus before putting on the condom.
  • If you have unrolled the condom in the wrong direction, throw it away.
  • Do not forget to change the condom for each act of intercourse (anal, vaginal, or oral) during the same encounter.

Related: How do you use a condom safely?

What this means for you

Latex is a natural rubber, which is commonly found in certain species of trees. These condoms offer adequate protection as high as 98% against pregnancy and STIs. They are the least expensive, available in different varieties, and stretch to a great extent. You can use water or silicone-based lubricants with latex condoms but not oil-based lubricants.

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