Have a latex allergy? Let's discuss some barrier method alternatives

Being exposed to latex if allergic can be extremely dangerous and cause severe harm. The great news is, for those latex allergic, there are a variety of latex-free barrier options to prevent STIs (and pregnancy if using condoms). However, these alternatives are NOT created equal, and some may not even be appropriate to prevent STIs.

Your options:

  1. Polyurethane: these barrier methods are made out of a thin plastic material that is effective against preventing both pregnancy and STIs. However, there are some reports that these condoms don’t fit as tightly as latex condoms, and you or your partner could experience slippage. Not totally worth avoiding, but worth knowing so you can be on the lookout.

  2. Polyisoprene: this is derived from rubber. This material can actually be a little bit more stretchy than latex. The cool part is that the efficacy against pregnancy and STIs

  3. Lambskin condoms: Last, and to be honest probably least. Is the lambskin condom. While this is the only natural option, we feel strongly that it may not be your best option. Lambskin condoms are made out of sheep intestine. Unfortunately, while they may prevent pregnancy, the natural porosity (tiny holes) in the intestine don’t make them a safe option if trying to prevent STIs.

Stay safe, talk to your care provider if you have concerns, and always remember that safe sexual health is part of treating the most important person in the world with respect, YOU.

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