– Practicing safe sex is important to your sexual health. If you want to protect both you and your partner, it's important that you choose a form of protection that is ideal for your needs and use it correctly and consistently every time that you are intimate. At drugstore.com, we have a wide selection of condoms, including non-latex varieties that can help you reduce the risk of pregnancy and the spread of sexually transmitted infections (STIs). read more about non-latex condoms » | find answers to your sex toys & joys questions »
Male condoms are a simple, nonprescription form of birth control that works by preventing sperm from fertilizing an egg. All male condoms are sheaths made out of a flexible material. The closed end of the sheath covers the head of the penis and traps semen after ejaculation. This keeps it from entering a woman's vagina. By fully covering the penis, condoms also prevent the exchange of body fluids that can spread STIs including HIV. After abstinence, male condoms are the most effective way to protect you and your partner from STIs during vaginal, anal or oral intercourse. Choosing male condoms for birth control allows you to keep intimate moments spontaneous, as a condom can be put on in the heat of the moment with no advanced planning required.
Why Use Non Latex Condoms?
Latex is a rubbery material that is also used to make many different products, such as surgical gloves worn by health care workers. Today, the majority of condoms on the market are made out of latex; however, manufacturers typically also offer a limited number of styles that are made from other materials. These non-latex condoms are ideal for people who have allergies to latex and cannot safely use products that contain the material. Some couples also prefer the feel of non-latex condoms and believe that they enhance pleasure during intercourse.
Varieties of Non-Latex Condoms
There are two main varieties of non-latex condoms available on the market that offer the same level of effectiveness as a form of birth control and STI prevention as traditional latex condoms: polyurethane and polyisoprene.
Polyurethane condoms were the first alternative to latex to be sold. Very strong, but thinner than latex, polyurethane condoms do not fit the penis as tightly as other types of condoms. In addition, polyurethane is an excellent conductor of heat and allows men to feel more of the warmth from their partners' bodies during intercourse.
Polyisoprene condoms are a newer latex alternative. These condoms fit similarly to latex condoms, but they have a much different texture. Many people compare it to the feeling of human skin and enjoy the sensations that it produces during intercourse.
How Well Do Condoms Work?
Non-latex condoms are 97 percent effective at preventing pregnancy when used perfectly; however, many couples do not use them correctly, which reduces their effectiveness.
Tips for Using Non-Latex Condoms
You must put the condom on before the penis makes any contact with a partner's intimate area to get the full benefits of protection.
Polyisoprene and polyurethane condoms may be slightly more likely to break or tear, so handle them carefully and inspect them for holes prior to use.
Because polyurethane condoms have a looser fit, be sure to grasp the base of the penis firmly when withdrawing. This can help to keep the condom from slipping off inside of the vagina or rectum.