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Allergic to Latex

Published: May 14, 2012
Dear TeenHealthFX,

 

Hi I want to have sex but I’m allergic to latex so I can’t use condoms. I overheard my uncle talking to my brother and he said that non-latex condoms didn’t work because that how he got my little cousin. I talked to my health teacher about birth control pills and she said that it cause heart failure, and seeing as how I already have a heart condition, that could be fatal. Should I just take my chances with pregnancy or try another form of birth control?

Signed: Allergic to Latex

Dear Allergic to Latex,

 

In addition to latex condoms there are also natural skin and polyurethane condoms. Natural skin condoms are made from sheep intestines. While they are good at preventing pregnancy they're porous so viruses and germs go right through them and therefore do not offer reliable protection against sexually transmitted diseases. Polyurethane condoms are usually thinner, stronger and less constricting than latex condoms. Because of this, they transmit heat better, and they are thought to increase sensitivity and pleasure.  Polyurethane condoms have a reputation as not being as effective as latex condoms but they've passed the U.S. Food and Drug Administration's (FDA) tests and have gained the FDA's stamp of approval for sale in the United States as an effective method of contraception and HIV prevention. The problem with polyurethane condoms compared to latex is that they are less elastic and looser fitting which makes them slightly more likely to break or slip off. For this reason the FDA and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), recommend polyurethane condoms to people sensitive or allergic to latex. For those who are not sensitive or allergic to latex these agencies recommend latex condoms as a preference for safer sex

 

Your health teacher may have over stated her position. Taking birth control pills is generally safe for young, healthy women if they do not smoke. But birth control pills can pose heart disease risks for some women, especially women older than 35; women with high blood pressure, diabetes, or high cholesterol; and women who smoke.

 

If you are considering becoming sexually active your best bet is to talk to your doctor about what would be the best method of birth control and protection against sexually transmitted diseases for you. Having a latex allergy and a heart condition presents a unique set of circumstances and your doctor would be the person to best advise you on protection.

 

 

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Signed: TeenHealthFX

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