Donate Now
Post New Topic  New Poll  Post A Reply
my profile | directory login | register | search | faq | forum home

  next oldest topic   next newest topic
» Got Questions? Get Answers. » SCARLETEEN CENTRAL » Safer Sex & Birth Control » Latex allergy, chemical sensitivity, what's a girl to do?

 - UBBFriend: Email this page to someone!    
Author Topic: Latex allergy, chemical sensitivity, what's a girl to do?
No Longer New To This
Neophyte
Member # 39160

Icon 1 posted      Profile for No Longer New To This     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Hello,

It's been a long, long time since I last posted. However, I've encountered a few problems in my attempts at having penetrative sex with my boyfriend, and I need some advice.

I had no idea that I had a latex allergy until after we tried a latex condom. It just hadn't come up, somehow, over the years. I know that there are polyurethane condoms out there, but they come with a different problem: pre-added lube. I have a pretty strong chemical sensitivity. I use mostly natural and organic products when I can; it helps.

The latex causes unbearable itching. The chemical-y lube causes mild to moderate itching, along with that artificial sting/burn that I get when I'm exposed to too many chemicals.

I get wet enough to not need lubricant with a finger, and perhaps not even with more. However, we found an organic lubricant that might work, if only we could find a condom without lubricant on it.

We've been looking for a long time, and I'm losing hope of finding such a thing. I want a brand that I know I can trust. One without chemicals and such.

Another thing I've been thinking about is this. I'm on the Pill, and I have been for more than a year. I have never been more than an hour late, and even that was a one-time thing, last fall. I almost always get it within five minutes of my target time, and, even more often, within ten seconds of it. (11:59:30am is my target time) I have been very careful. I don't take medicine.

Would it be too great a risk to forgo the condom?

If I do get pregnant, my life would naturally be more difficult, but it would certainly not be a disaster. My boyfriend and I talked about what we'd do long before we started having any sex at all. My mother, at the least, would support me. She'd dote on any babies, even. I have a house of my own. The main problem would be school, but even that could be managed with enough planning, and sacrificing things that aren't necessary.

I've been taught from elementary school that all sex should be protected. However, is it really unprotected if I'm on the Pill, and I am very careful about taking it?

If not, I'll wait until a time in my life when I can safely risk pregnancy, and enjoy myself with oral and manual until then. Unless there exists a condom that won't make extraordinarily sensitive tissues itch and burn, that is.

Thanks for your time, and have a nice day!

Posts: 38 | From: Traveling | Registered: Jul 2008  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Mortality
Activist
Member # 35831

Icon 1 posted      Profile for Mortality     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
If you're monogamous and have been for at least six months and you both have had STI-screenings and are clean you should be able to skip the condoms. The pill is very effective [Smile]
Posts: 122 | From: Europe | Registered: Nov 2007  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
orca
Scarleteen Volunteer
Member # 33665

Icon 1 posted      Profile for orca     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
...Or, you can try nonlatex polyurethane condoms (like Durex Avanti, Trojan Supra, and the polyisoprene Lifestyles SKYN ) or the female condom (also nonlatex). Going without barriers isn't your only option here, and you shouldn't have to if it's not something you feel comfortable with. As for the lube problem, have you tried asking your doctor for some suggestions? One of the other volunteers may be able to offer some suggestions on lube alternatives as well.

--------------------
Listen, strange women lyin' in ponds distributin' swords is no basis for a system of government. Supreme executive power derives from a mandate from the masses, not from some farcical aquatic ceremony.--Monty Python and the Holy Grail

Posts: 2726 | From: North America | Registered: Apr 2007  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
StrangePudding
Activist
Member # 40765

Icon 1 posted      Profile for StrangePudding     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
There's also lamb-skin condoms. If you're absolutely sure that STIs are not a concern, but you still want to use condoms for birth control, lamb skin ones protect against the latter but not the former.
Posts: 222 | From: USA | Registered: Oct 2008  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Heather
Executive Director & Founder
Member # 3

Icon 1 posted      Profile for Heather     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
By all means, the condom issue is an easier solve than the lube one. I'd personally suggest just switching to polyurethane condoms if you want to keep using barriers. I don't recall the Avanti condoms being pre-lubricated, and the SKYNs are not either.

The lube issue can be a bit trickier, especially if you don't know what ingredient in lubes is the problem. Could you make me a list of what lubes you HAVE tried, and which, if any, you have had greater or lesser reactions to?

--------------------
Heather Corinna, Executive Director & Founder, Scarleteen
About Me • Get our book!
Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has. - Margaret Mead

Posts: 68006 | From: An island near Seattle | Registered: May 2000  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
No Longer New To This
Neophyte
Member # 39160

Icon 1 posted      Profile for No Longer New To This     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Thank you all for your help. I'm looking into the options that have been presented so far. As a vegetarian, I wouldn't feel right using lamb skin condoms, so I'm looking into the SKYN and Avanti ones right now. Pre-lubricated condoms are all that we have available at our local store, and I didn't want to trust random brands off of the internet.

I hope that this solves the problem I'm having. If problems arise, I'll problem post again. Thank you again for your time.

Posts: 38 | From: Traveling | Registered: Jul 2008  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
No Longer New To This
Neophyte
Member # 39160

Icon 1 posted      Profile for No Longer New To This     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Uh... That's awfully strange. It specifically states that both of the recommended condoms are pre-lubricated. I can't find any on either website that are unlubricated. And it seems that Avanti has been discontinued, unless I'm mistaken.

In that case... Are there any other suggestions? What are my risks by not using a condom to back up my Pill, based on my usage of it? I want to be safe, but I also want to avoid the mild burn and the itching that chemicals give me. Latex is worse, of course, but even if I can avoid that, finding an unlubricated and reliable condom is really rather difficult...

Posts: 38 | From: Traveling | Registered: Jul 2008  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Heather
Executive Director & Founder
Member # 3

Icon 1 posted      Profile for Heather     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
That is strange.

The main concern would be STI protection, not pregnancy: when taken properly, your pill is over 99% effective at preventing pregnancy.

Per the lubes, my suggestions would be Emerita's lube and Pink lube. But you can also ask your doctor about it and see if s/he has one they can prescribe for you.

--------------------
Heather Corinna, Executive Director & Founder, Scarleteen
About Me • Get our book!
Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has. - Margaret Mead

Posts: 68006 | From: An island near Seattle | Registered: May 2000  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
No Longer New To This
Neophyte
Member # 39160

Icon 1 posted      Profile for No Longer New To This     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
We've found an organic lubricant; the problem was that the lubricants already on the condoms left my skin feeling itchy and irritated. I took a look at those lubricants anyway, and it seems like they have quite a lot of chemicals in the ingredients lists.

Anyway. STIs aren't a problem; we're currently in a sexually monogamous relationship. If that changes, we'll be careful about it, but that's not incredibly likely on his part. In any case, there's nothing to worry about on that front.

Does that mean that, if pregnancy is our only worry, we'd be safe enough with just the pill?

Posts: 38 | From: Traveling | Registered: Jul 2008  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Heather
Executive Director & Founder
Member # 3

Icon 1 posted      Profile for Heather     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
If you're monogamous and both were free and clear of infections according to your tests when you started being together, then you're right: that's not a big concern.

So again, the pill alone IS highly effective and it DOES do a good job for the vast majority of women who take it per preventing pregnancy.

If those other lubes were still looking too chemical-y for you, and you don't have to worry about lubes that will degrade condoms, you also can look into natural agents, like, say coconut oil, which is very friendly to the body, and even antimicrobial: it's been found to be effective AGAINST certain strains of candida (yeast) for instance. It's also a natural agent that is known to be safe for sexual use.

--------------------
Heather Corinna, Executive Director & Founder, Scarleteen
About Me • Get our book!
Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has. - Margaret Mead

Posts: 68006 | From: An island near Seattle | Registered: May 2000  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
   

Quick Reply
Message:

HTML is not enabled.
UBB Code™ is enabled.
UBB Code™ Images not permitted.
Instant Graemlins
   


Post New Topic  New Poll  Post A Reply Close Topic   Feature Topic   Move Topic   Delete Topic next oldest topic   next newest topic
 - Printer-friendly view of this topic
Hop To:


Contact Us | Get the Whole Story! Go Home to SCARLETEEN: Sex Ed for the Real World | Privacy Statement

Copyright 1998, 2014 Heather Corinna/Scarleteen
Scarleteen.com: Providing comprehensive sex education online to teens and young adults worldwide since 1998

Information on this site is provided for educational purposes. It is not meant to and cannot substitute for advice or care provided by an in-person medical professional. The information contained herein is not meant to be used to diagnose or treat a health problem or disease, or for prescribing any medication. You should always consult your own healthcare provider if you have a health problem or medical condition.

Powered by UBB.classic™ 6.7.3