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Safer Sex for Latex-Sensitive Folks > How To Articles > Condoms & Safer Sex

Some people develop sensitivities to latex over time, often as the result of exposure to latex on a specific part of the body. So doctors and nurses who use a lot of gloves might become sensitive on their hands, but be fine with condoms. If you find that sex leaves you feeling irritated, itchy, or sore, it might be the result of latex sensitivity.

It’s possible that it’s not the condom as much as the lubricant. While all lubricated condoms are coated with silicone to keep the latex from fusing together, each brand uses a different formula so it’s worth trying a different one to see what happens. If it clears things up, great! If not, there are still some options.

It’s also possible that the irritation is because latex has more friction than skin. If you’re not using a lubricant on the outside of the condom, give that a try. While water-based lubes with glycerin are long-lasting and very popular, some people find glycerin irritating. Try our water-based lubes without glycerin, instead.

If it does turn out that you’re reacting to the latex, there are several option. Skyn condoms are made from polyisoprene, a non-latex form of rubber. They’re very sheer and thin, so you’ll feel more sensations. Just as with latex, polyisoprene should not be used with oils. The Trojan Supra Condom is made from Microsheer, a form of polyurethane, so it’s safe to use with water-based, silicone and Oil Based Lubricants. And the Female Condom is made of Nitrile, so it’s also safe to use with oils.

Lambskin condoms are another alternative for some latex-sensitive folks. However, lambskin condoms are only preventative against pregnancy, not sexually transmitted infections. This is because they are semi-porous enough so that bodily fluids and viruses may be transmitted through them, but not sperm. Using one for safer sex purposes may be better than nothing, but we recommend other materials.

We also carry Nitrile gloves and polyurethane dental dams, so latex sensitivity and safer sex can go hand-in-hand. We have lots of tips on using gloves and dental dams.

So whether you’re using alternatives to latex because you’re latex-sensitive or you just like the way these products feel, you’ve got lots of choices.

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