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» Scarleteen Boards: 2000 - 2014 (Archive) » EXPERT ADVICE » Ask Scarleteen » Allergy?

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Author Topic: Allergy?
Bun Bun
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Hey there, Scarleteen I have a question about a possible condom and/or lube allergy.

Everytime my partner and I have sex, it starts to burn after a little while. We're both up to date with STI screenings, and have been monagamous for two years now, so I'm quite sure it's not an STI. I also doubt it's an infection because it's been happening practically every time we've had intercourse. Also, I'm totally relaxed, aroused and wanting ( [Razz] ). Oh, and this burning doesn't happen when I pee, so I don't think it's a UTI.

Thing is, this has happened with every condom and every lube we've tried. We've used Durex Avanti, Trojan Large, Trojan Ultrathin, Trojan Thintensity, and various One condoms. For lubes, we've used regular Astroglide, paraben and glycerin free Astroglide and a silicone based Wet brand lube (it was the worst. the burning was almost immediate). The burning fades away when we stop, and feels a LOT better if I press a cool, damp cloth against my privates.

I'm pretty sensitive to most things- my friends joke that I'm allergic to everything. So does this sound like an allergy? Or maybe that I'm just sensitive to condoms or lube? Also, what would be the next step? Keep experimenting with different brands (which is tough, because we're both in university, and cash is a little tight), or maybe try without condoms and lube? (I'm on the pill)

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Heather
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Have you always used lubes before you even started any sex? In other words, are you adding lube right at the beginning, rather than later on?

As well, when you tried the Avanti's (which are not latex), did you have the same reaction as you did with other condoms? If so, that would rule out a latex allergy.

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Heather Corinna, Executive Director & Founder, Scarleteen
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Bun Bun
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We always add the lube before we begin, both on me, and on him. Actually, when we used the avanti, we did not have any lube. However, we can't use those condoms again because the ring is too small, and it's not very stretchy. He's uncircumsized and it's ridiculously hard to get over that bump when he pulls his foreskin back. Even when we had got them on the whole way, the ring dug into him.

I've heard that generally polyurethane condoms are a lot less stretchy than latex. Is this true?

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Heather
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They can be, yes.

So, howsabout this: the female condom is also polyurethane. Why don't you try those, WITH plenty of lube and see what happens?

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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

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Bun Bun
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I'm actually not too fond of the idea of the female condom. I've never tried one, but I honestly don't like having anything in my vagina that stays there for a while. I don't use tampons, and I decided not to try the Nuva ring for the same reason. It's uncomfortable, I guess. Also, I've always had apprehensions about female condoms after seeing the size of one in sex ed class a couple of a years ago. I know this all seems like a bunch of excuses, but really- I don't know if I'm comfortable using one.

We're thinking we might try not using a condom from the beginning (as I said, I'm on the pill, and I'm comfortable with the risk) to see if I still get the same burning.

Oh! I've been meaning to ask... Lifestyles has this new SKYN brand, that's non-latex, and also non-polyurethane. They're apparently more stretchy than polyurethane. Would it be worth checking those out too?

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Bun Bun
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(oops sorry, glitch!)

[ 11-11-2008, 08:34 PM: Message edited by: Bun Bun ]

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-Jill
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I do think it would be worthwhile to give the Skyn's a shot. It sounds like they address some of the problems you're having with polyurethane condoms and are latex-free should a latex allergy be an issue.

If you do try them it would be awesome if you'd post about your experiences in our Safer Sex & Birth Control forum.

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Bun Bun
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Definitely will : ) I just have to find out where they're sold first!
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