Sex should always be pleasurable, but if it leaves you with a stinging, burning sensation, or intense itching in your genital region, then there’s clearly something wrong.
Latex allergy or STI?
Many STIs produce this kind of effect, so it’s important to make sure that you haven’t been affected by anything infectious that could affect your long-term health, and even your fertility. Reports suggest that Chlamydia, syphilis and gonorrhoea are becoming increasingly prevalent and that they are also becoming resistant to antibiotics too, so prompt treatment is always necessary if you suspect that you have been affected.
Condoms are considered to be one of the best ways of avoiding STIs, so if you find that you’re experiencing itchiness, redness or a rash after having protected sex, then it’s possible that you might have an allergy to the latex used in most condoms.
Over exposure to latex products
Apparently, people who are involved in the manufacture of latex products, or who use them regularly, such as nurses using latex gloves, are more likely to develop an allergy than those who are not exposed to latex on a regular basis. An allergy to latex products is also closely linked to a number of food allergies, including bananas, avocados, kiwi fruit, chestnuts and passion fruit, so if you already have an allergy to any of these foods, there’s a good likelihood that you will also be allergic to latex condoms.
Alternatives to latex
If you are allergic to latex, that doesn’t mean that you have to have unprotected sex to avoid symptoms. In a recent blog post, Durex have been promoting their Real Feel condoms, made from Polyisoprene, which is a good alternative for anyone with a latex allergy.
Condoms are still strongly advised in order to avoid the risk of infections. In fact, they’re so effective in reducing the occurrence of STIs that this form of protection is widely promoted. Organisations such as https://www.pitstopplus.org/ even give out free condoms in Greenwich on a recurring basis to people who sign up for the service.
If you suspect that latex could be a problem for you, look out for late alternatives, including polyurethane and lambskin condoms, that will also provide protection from STIs, although these condoms do tend to be less robust, so need to be treated with care.