My boyfriend of eight months and I have been having sex for about half a year now and it has all been going really well. I have used the pill and we have used a condom every time. I didn't have any problems or anything until two weeks ago, when we switched to condoms with spermicidal. My cousin suggested them and my sex-ed teacher said they were a lot more effective. (We had previously been using water based lubricant and a brand of condoms suggested my several friends of ours. They worked very well and never broke, which was very nice and helped me relax about everything.) Well, anyway, we have had sex twice since using these new condoms and I have had some terrible irritation and it was especially bad after having sex both times (it felt like the time I had a bladder infection when I was nine) and my vulva has been red. I couldn't think of what it could be. Neither of us have any STIs or anything (we got tested, and besides, we had both only ever done foreplay before we met and safe foreplay at that) and I couldn't think of anything else I've changed that would have an effect on anything other than the spermicidal condoms. Is it possible that the condom switch has anything to do with this irritation? I really would like to know. If you could help me, it would be greatly appreciated.
Posts: 1 | From: Galveston, Tx, USA | Registered: Feb 2002
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I'd say that your condom switch has everything to do with it- spermicide can definitely irritate your vagina because it is actually very similar to soap. It can actually reduce the effectivity of the condom, because if your skin is irritated, the transmission of infection is more likely. A condom used correctly with a water-based lubricant combined with the pill should do you just fine.
However, I would make an appointment with your gynocologist, just to make certain that everything's okay. My best bet is that the spermicide has been irritating you, but I'm no doctor, and I don't know for certain. So get yourself checked out.
One more thing: the amount of spermicide on a condom is nowhere near the amount needed to kill all the sperm in an ejaculation. So it doesn't increase the efficacy of the condom for any practical purpose.
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