I am often asked about my recommendation for condoms, so I figured I’d do some research and let you know what’s out there.
Condoms are made from different materials — latex, polyurethane, polyisoprene, and lambskin. There are certain things you must consider when choosing a condom:
- Are you or your partner allergic to latex?
- Are you or your partner concerned about STD transmission?
- Who will be wearing the condom; male or female?
Latex condoms are some of the most widely available and among the least expensive. The market offers several brands, each coming in a variety of sizes, colors, textures, shapes, and even flavors. Latex condoms can protect against pregnancy and STDs.
Polyurethane condoms have long been recommended for those with latex allergies. Polyurethane condoms are thinner and stronger than latex and tend to be less constrictive. Polyurethane condoms also transfer heat more efficiently which may increase pleasure for some. Female condoms are made of polyurethane and can be inserted into the vagina up to 8 hours before intercourse. (Note- female condoms should never be used together with male condoms). Polyurethane condoms (male and female) can protect against pregnancy and STDs.
Polyisoprene condoms are fairly new, debuting on the market in 2009. Polyisoprene is ideal for those allergic to latex or polyurethane. Polyisoprene condoms have a soft natural feel that conforms to the skin similarly to latex and some claim they are more comfortable than latex. Polyisoprene condoms can protect against pregnancy and STDs.
Lambskin condoms are made from the intestinal membrane of a lamb. Condoms made from lambskin have been on the market the longest and supposedly have a more natural feel than the other types of condoms. However, lambskin condoms are porous- meaning they have small pores that call allow viruses and bacteria to pass through. Therefore, lambskin condoms do not protect against STDs but are effective at preventing pregnancy (pores are too small for sperm to pass through).
Latex, polyurethane, and polyisoprene male condoms are approximately 97% effective at preventing pregnancy when used correctly and consistently. Female condoms (only available in polyurethane) are approximately 95% effective at preventing pregnancy when used correctly and consistently.
Still wondering what condom is best for you? Check out online stores (i.e. — drugstore.com) to compare prices, sizes, and availability. Most importantly, have fun trying them out!