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How Do I Know if I’m Allergic to Latex Condoms

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Updated November 21, 2008

Question: How Do I Know if I’m Allergic to Latex Condoms

“I recently started using condoms again after a long time of not using them, and I think I may be having an allergic reaction. After sex it feels like it burns, and I think my penis is redder than normal. How can I tell if it’s a latex reaction or something else?”

Answer:

This is a great question, and it’s good that you’re thinking of a variety of options. You may very well be having an allergic reaction to latex condoms. But there could be a variety of other things going on.

  • If it has been a long time since you’ve used condoms, it could be something as simple as a skin reaction to the increased friction.
  • You may be reacting to the lubricant in the condom
  • Alternatively, if you are using non-lubricated condoms you may be experiencing pain from chafing of a sort.
  • There may be a separate health issue and the condoms may just be making the situation worse, or more evident to you.

The first thing you may want to consider is a visit to a doctor to have yourself checked out. There is no specific skin test for latex allergies, but if you’re having a skin reaction a doctor should be able to give you more information based on visually examining the area.

If your reaction is mild, and you want to try to do some sleuthing on your own, here are a few ideas:

  • Test to see if it’s a latex allergy by using male non-latex condoms or the Reality female condom . If you don’t experience any reaction with those products, it’s probably a latex allergy.
  • Experiment with different condom brands, and try both lubricated and non-lubricated condoms. It may be that you are reacting to the lubricant in the condom, or a particular brand of condom, and not the latex itself.
  • To make sure it isn’t just irritation from too much friction, add some extra personal lubricant when you’re using condoms. You can put a small drop inside the tip of the condom before you roll it on, and then once it’s on, apply the lubricant to the outside of the condom.
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