It is a scientifically known fact that male condoms are highly effective in preventing Sexually Transmitted Diseases (STDs) and unwanted pregnancy. They are easily available in the market and come in a variety of shapes, colors and sizes. With the growing concern of population that exists today, it has become imperative to use condoms while having sex.
There are both latex and non-latex condoms and their usage is dependent on how a person’s body reacts to latex. The manufacturing of non-latex condoms came much later when an allergic response to latex was seen in some people.
Having originated over 150 years ago, latex condoms are specifically designed to cover a man’s penis during sex. They are made up of a natural latex rubber sheath which is derived from the sap of Hevea Brasiliensis tree. These condoms have evolved over the years and are now available with spermicidal or non-spermicidal lubricants. They have also undergone changes in shape, size, texture and thickness.
Today, latex condoms cover 90% of the market and offer the most uncomplicated contraception method as they cause no hormonal alteration. The stand out feature associated with latex is its ‘elasticity’ wherein a condom can stretch up to 800% before breaking. They provide 98% protection from unwanted pregnancy and are highly effective in preventing STDs. However, the major problem with latex condoms is that they can only be paired with water or silicone-based lubricants. Other lubricants like petroleum jelly, mineral oil, etc. can lower their elasticity and result in breaking of the condom.
For people who are allergic to latex and experience itching, redness or rash, non-latex condoms are the best alternative. They are made up of polyurethane and polyisoprene, and are much thinner as compared to latex condoms. Although they offer a natural feeling during sexual intercourse, they have a lower flexibility and can only be used when paired with lubricants.
Non-latex condoms provide the advantage of using a lubricant of your choice. They are compatible with both water-based as well as oil-based lubricants. However, their biggest disadvantage is that these condoms are more susceptible to breakage if incorrectly used. Due to this, they are less effective than latex condoms in preventing unwanted pregnancy and Sexually Transmitted Diseases (STDs).
The most important point to remember while using condoms is to wear them correctly. It will keep both you and your partner safe and offer a better sexual experience.