Reader Questions April 2016

Not sure if you’re allergic to latex or lubricants? First time buying condoms and stumped by condom size? Need the most reliable condom for anal sex? Want to use oil as a sex lube?ask-condom-depotlearnlogotransparent-550x110If you’re in a quandary over condoms, don’t go crazy. Seeking anonymous advice from America’s source for safer sex products is super simple! Submit your condom question to our Safer Sexperts and get an honest answer from us, for free! See, it’s so easy!

Q: New sex partner with frequent infections? We suspect it could either be a sensitivity to latex or something to do with the lube we used (a water-based one which I suspect had unnatural ingredients may have had sugar in it also – which I believe can cause an imbalance in the vagina). Once she is over the infection we want to try non-latex condom and a natural lube to eliminate these as possible contributing causes. Which non-latex condom would you say is the safest in terms of preventing pregnancy? Also, which materials can be used with oil-based lubricants? We thought of using almond oil. Or is there another natural/hypoallergenic lube you would recommend?

CondomDepot-Learn-HI-vaginal-healthA: Hello! Sorry to hear about the issues you’ve encountered. All latex and non-latex condoms pass the same FDA-approval tests, so they all have a similar failure rate. Our top selling non-latex condoms are in the LifeStyles SKYN line. Latex allergies cause immediate rashes, severe itching and swelling in the area of contact and do not create infection. A good test is to try on a pair of disposable latex gloves and see if a reaction occurs.

Lubricants often lead to yeast infections and should be picked with care. Here’s a dictionary of common lube ingredientsIf you want a water-based lube I’d suggest WET Naturals Beautifully Bare because it has no sugar or sugar substitutes. Sugar feeds the fungus in the vagina and causes yeast to flourish. 

100% silicone lubricants are hypoallergenic, vagina-friendly and compatible with all condom materials. They’re your best bet. ID Millennium works wonders for those with sensitive parts.

Be wary of using nut (or any other kind of) oil as a lubricant as they’re only compatible with nitrile FC2 internal condoms and Trojan NaturaLamb lambskin condoms. But, these are both non-latex if that’s the problem after all. 

And, be aware that yeast infections are contagious through unprotected sex and yeast infection treatment creams are oil-based and can cause a condom to break. Check out our sister site’s blog to find other things which contribute to yeast infections and natural ways to reduce yeast.

Don’t discount the possibility of other infections such as a urinary tract infection or bacterial vaginosis which are both cured only by prescription antibiotic treatment after testing by a doctor.

Q: Hello, I am about to get married in a couple months. My Fiancée and I are both virgins, and therefore neither of us has any experience buying condoms. I am trying to figure out what condoms to buy that will fit me properly. My penis is 6.75″ long and right on 5″ in circumference. Looking at the sizing chart most of the larger circumferences are 4.25″ with only two at 4.5″. How small is too small around? I read that having the condom longer is ok, but can it be too long? Thanks for the help.

weddingring1A: Congrats and great question!

Condoms are designed to be too long in order to accommodate ejaculate and to fit on the testing equipment. Girth is the most vital measurement. Please read, “Q: Condom is too long, but it’s the right girth. Is that OK?” for more info.

The more a condom has to stretch, the more likely it is to break. A 0.5” stretch is about as far as you want to go in order to maintain blood flow, comfort level, sensation and safety. Using an additional condom-safe lube is the best way to keep too-snug condoms from failing due to friction.

Here are your FDA-approved condom options:

  1. Trojan Magnum Thin
  2. Trojan Magnum Ribbed
  3. Trojan NaturaLamb (no protection against STIs, only a contraceptive)
  4. FC2 Female Condom

Hope this helps. Wishing you both a happy and healthy union!

Q: Hey boo hey! I love the SKYN condom. What other condoms are perfect dupe of them?

BUYNOWskynselectionpackA: Hi you hi! We love LifeStyles non-latex SKYN condoms too! If you want more variety try the LifeStyles SKYN Selection box which has three kinds of SKYN condoms.

If you are looking for a latex condom with the exact same size and similar sensations as the original SKYN, go for LifeStyles UltraThin or Trustex Loves Sensitives condoms.

Thanks for asking– have fun and stay safer!

Q: Hello! Non-latex condom efficacy rates for anal sex? I am very worried about the failure rate of polyurethane condoms which seems to be a lot bigger than that of latex condoms. The problem is I am sensitive to latex and it hurts my skin. I am a sex worker so it’s very important for me to find the condom with the very smallest failure rate. I have anal sex with a lot of partners so it’s extra important for me to use the most efficient latex free condom available to avoid breakage and HIV transmission and other risks.

AnalSexArticleHubHeaderA: I commend you on your interest in learning more about condoms and dedication to staying safer. As you already know, all FDA-approved condoms pass similar testing methods, are not approved for anal sex and user error accounts for a significant portion of failure rates. Please visit, “Why Do Condoms Break?” for a full list of these common mistakes and our, “Anal Sex Article Hub,” for even more info about staying safer.

SKYN condoms were the first condom to pass the many non-latex male condom safety requirements, are our staff favorite and our top-seller. Latex-free polyisoprene condoms (like all the ones found in the LifeStyles SKYN line) are the most similar to latex condoms. They’re compatible with water and silicone-based lubricants and come in more than one size, making usage safer.

Visit our Learning Center for helpful reviews on these products:

  1. Condom Review: LifeStyles SKYN 
  2. Condom Review: LifeStyles SKYN Intense Feel
  3. Condom Review: LifeStyles SKYN Selection
  4. Condom Review: LifeStyles SKYN Large

Wishing you all the best!


About Condom Depot

The Condom Depot Learning Center provides free safer sex ed and has recently been resourced by Men's Health, Go Ask Alice, Her Campus, LifeHacker, Scarleteen, Bustle, Madame Noire, Jezebel, Vice, Stallion Style, aPlus, Sex Talk Tuesday and Adult Sex Ed Month.

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