Allergy to condoms usually occurs due to an allergic reaction caused by some substance present in the condom, which may be the latex or components of the lubricant that contain spermicides, which kill sperm and which give off smell, color, and taste. This allergy can be identified through symptoms such as itching, redness, and swelling in the private parts, which in some cases are associated with sneezing and coughing.
To confirm the diagnosis it is necessary to consult a gynecologist, urologist or allergist to carry out tests, such as the allergic test, and the treatment consists of using condoms from other materials and, in cases where the allergy causes very strong symptoms, it can be indicated the use of anti-allergy, anti-inflammatory, and even corticosteroids.
Allergy symptoms can appear immediately after contact with latex or other condom substances or appear 12 to 36 hours after the person has been exposed to the condom, which can be:
- Itching and swelling in the private parts;
- Redness in the skin;
- Flaking on the skin of the groin;
- Constant sneezing;
- Tearing eyes;
- Scratching throat.
When allergies to condom components are very strong, the person may have a cough, shortness of breath and a feeling that the throat is closing, and if this happens it is necessary to seek medical attention immediately. In other cases, hypersensitivity to condoms appears after a long time, after several times that you have used this product.
Symptoms of condom allergy are more common in women, as the mucous membranes in the vagina facilitate the entry of latex proteins into the body and often experience vaginal swelling and itching because of this.
In addition, when these symptoms appear it is important to consult a gynecologist or urologist, as these symptoms often indicate other health problems, such as sexually transmitted infections. Know the main sexually transmitted infections (STIs) .
How to confirm an allergy
To confirm the diagnosis of condom allergy, it is necessary to consult a gynecologist, urologist or allergist to assess the symptoms, examine the allergic reaction on the skin and request some tests to confirm which condom product is causing the allergy, which may be latex, lubricant or substances that give different smells, colors, and sensations.
Some tests that may be recommended by the doctor are a blood test to measure specific proteins produced by the body in the presence of latex, for example called the measurement of serum specific IgE against latex. The patch test is a contact test in which you can identify latex allergies, as well as the prick test, which consists of applying substances to the skin for a certain time to check whether or not there is a sign of an allergic reaction. See how the prick test is done .
What to do
For people who are allergic to condom latex it is recommended to use condoms that are made with other materials, such as:
- Polyurethane condom: it is made with a very thin plastic material, instead of latex and is also safe against sexually transmitted infections and pregnancy;
- Polyisoprene condom: it is made of a material similar to synthetic rubber and does not contain the same proteins as latex, so it does not cause allergy. These condoms are also safe in protecting against pregnancy and illness;
- Female condom: this type of condom is usually made of a plastic that does not contain latex, so the risk of causing allergies is less.
There is also a condom made of sheepskin and do not have latex in its composition, however, this type of condom has small holes that allow the passage of bacteria and viruses and therefore do not protect against disease.
In addition, people are often allergic to condoms or lubricant products and, in these cases, it is important to choose condoms with water-based lubricants that do not contain dyes. In addition, if the allergy caused a lot of irritation and swelling in the private parts, the doctor may recommend anti-allergic, anti-inflammatory or even corticosteroid medications to improve these symptoms.