Allergy to latex materials such as gloves, rubber bands and balloons is rare. However, this allergy tends to receive more attention when it relates to using safe-sex products such as condoms and dental dams.
It's important to note that it is possible to develop allergic reactions to these products even if you have used them many times in the past without any issues.
The symptoms of latex condom allergy are not too different from other vaginal conditions like yeast infections, making it a tricky one to diagnose. Nevertheless, there are clear signs you should look out for to know if your body is not responding well to the condom you often use during sex.
Symptoms of latex condom allergy
This is an allergic reaction often caused by an exposure to latex. As with all allergies, your immune system overreacts to an otherwise harmless substance—in this case latex—leading to symptoms of allergy.
Generally, these symptoms commonly show up in the nose, lungs, throats, sinuses, and ears. If your allergy is specific to safe sex products such as condoms, you are likely to develop symptoms in and around your vagina.
They range from mild reactions such as:
- Rashes and or hives
To more severe allergic reactions like:
- Runny nose
- Tightening in chest area
- Difficulty breathing
- A scratch throat and cough
- Itchy and watery eyes
Symptoms specific to condoms typically last between one and four days. More severe reactions may last longer.
As there is no treatment for latex allergy, the best advice given by medical professionals is to avoid the material that triggers the allergic reactions. In the case of condoms, it means opting for latex-free ones. Here are some of the most commonly found on the market.
Polyurethane condoms are made of thin plastic devoid of latex. Keep in mind that these condoms tend to be more expensive than the regular ones and are more prone to breaking during sex.
Another option to consider are polyisoprene condoms. These are made from synthetic rubber, which is helpful in preventing allergic reactions to latex. However, they too are more likely to break during intercourse.