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10 Types of Condoms and Their Pros and Cons

by peter
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There are many types of condoms. They come in all shapes, colours and sizes. You can choose from condoms of different qualities such as lubricated and ribbed, and from different materials such as latex or lambskin. You can even try scented or glow-in-the-dark condoms.
Condoms reduce the risk of spreading sexually transmitted infections (STIs) through skin-to-skin contact during oral, genital or anal sex. Each type of condom has pros and cons. Which condom is best for you depends on you and your partner.

  1. Latex condoms
    The standard latex condom is the most common type of rubber and a reliable choice for preventing pregnancy and STIs. This is because latex is a non-porous material that is easy (and cheap) to produce. When using latex condoms, avoid oil-based lubricants, which can break down the latex and reduce the effectiveness of the condom. Therefore, it’s best to choose a water-based or silicone-based lubricant when using latex condoms.
    If you notice any itching, redness or rash after use, have your healthcare provider test you for latex allergy.
  2. Non-latex condoms
    If you are allergic to latex, you still have many options. These include safety made from
    Polyurethane and polyisoprene condoms are made from synthetic materials that protect against pregnancy and sexually transmitted infections. Lambskin condoms can also be used with both types of lubricants. They are effective in preventing pregnancy but are not recommended for protection against sexually transmitted infections or HIV.
  3. Built-in condoms
    Unlike external condoms, internal condoms (sometimes called female condoms) are inserted into the vagina. Because they are more difficult to insert, internal condoms are actually only 79 per cent effective. To avoid pregnancy, use internal condoms in combination with other forms of birth control.The great thing about internal condoms is that they give people with vaginas more control over their sexual health. Additionally, you can use them up to eight hours before sex so you don’t have to pause during sex when the condom breaks. However, make sure you don’t use it with a topical condom as it increases the risk of both breaking.
  4. Lambskin condoms
    Lamb skin condoms are made from the lining of animal intestines. While this material feels more natural or sensitive during sex, it also has larger holes. The holes in lambskin are large enough that some sexually transmitted diseases (such as HIV or herpes) can pass right through. Therefore, unless they are the only condoms available, it is best to avoid these products.
  5. Flavoured condoms
    Flavoured condoms are an easy way to add something new to the bedroom, especially if you or your partner don’t like the taste of latex during oral sex. Additionally, they are essentially the same as traditional latex condoms, just with a tasty coating over them. These condoms are also safe during vaginal intercourse, but if you notice any vaginal irritation, get a different kind of condom next time.
  6. Glow-in-the-dark condoms
    Your friend bought you a whole box of glow-in-the-dark condoms for your birthday, but they’re not actually safe to use. It turns out that glow-in-the-dark condoms are usually made of latex. As such, they are just as effective as regular condoms. It all depends on personal preference, not safety.
  7. Prismatic condoms
    If you’re picking up condoms in the condom aisle, you may see boxes that claim their unique design and shape enhances pleasure. Usually, this means that they have ribs on the sheath, which means that there is extra texture on the outside.
    The placement of these ribs is designed to increase stimulation and pleasure, and depending on where they are located, either partner may feel pleasure. However, if your genitals are quite sensitive, you may find that ribbed or otherwise textured condoms can cause you pain or discomfort . One way to reduce friction is to use a lubricant.
  8. Spermicide condoms
    Some condoms contain spermicide, a chemical that immobilises and destroys sperm. Spermicide itself is 79 per cent effective as a contraceptive. This chemical can cause irritation or allergic reactions, so it’s best to stick to spermicide-free sheaths.
  9. Thin or ultra-thin condoms
    Thin or ultra-thin condoms are exactly what their name sounds like: condoms with slightly less material. As such, many tout them as the most popular barrier method of contraception because they don’t completely reduce sensation. But does thinner material mean they’re more likely to break? Not necessarily. Condoms usually break due to heat, friction and the use of oil-based lubricants.
  10. Lubricated condoms
    These latex condoms have built-in lubricant. So you don’t have to worry about bringing your own lubricant or whether your lubricant will work with these latex condoms (remember how oil-based lubricants break down latex?).
    Lubricated condoms also reduce friction caused by vaginal dryness. This prevents irritation and also prevents the condom from tearing or breaking.

While each type of condom has its own advantages and disadvantages, it ultimately comes down to which one works best for you and your partner.

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