Miyola Cia Fernandes, BDS, MSc (UCL)
Condom allergy is fairly more common than you think. The allergic reaction could be transcending beyond just latex. It could be a reaction to the additives like spermicides, preservatives, proteins, anesthetics, flavoring agents, etc.
It could be a delayed reaction like after sex or an immediate case of anaphylaxis.
Here are some symptoms that you could look out for:
Localized symptoms: Itching, Redness, Bumps, Swelling, Hives or Rash around the area that has come in contact with the condom.
Systemic symptoms: hives, swelling or itching on the entire body, scratchy throat, flushing, watering eyes, runny nose, difficulty breathing, chest tightness.
What you can do:
- In case of hypersensitivity reaction and anaphylaxis, seeks emergency medical care.
- Avoid sex and use of the product till the symptoms subside.
- Keep the affected area clean and dry.
- Explore alternative allergen-free contraceptive options. Talk to a healthcare practitioner about the possible options available to you.
- Use cleaning products free of agents such as flavouring, fragrance etc which can worsen the symptoms.
- If the symptoms worsen or persist, consult a medical practitioner immediately.
Possible alternatives to Condoms:
- Contraceptive cap
- Contraceptive injection
- Contraceptive patch
- Female condom
- Intrauterine device
- Natural family planning
- Vaginal ring