Unless you have an allergy to latex or your partner (female) is sensitive to latex or spermicide, you and your partner will most likely be fine. While it does not always prevent STD transmission and pregnancy, a condom is certainly more effective than no condom.
Condoms come in all shapes and sizes - and when it comes to condoms, size does matter. The reason for this is that if a condom is too small, it is more likely to break, while as a condom that is too loose is liable to slip off. Condoms are used for two reasons - to prevent pregnancy and to prevent the transmission of an STD. While they typically do their job very well, it is important to note that condoms are not 100% effective in either case (many studies show condom effectiveness to be 97-98%)
Other than breaking or slipping off, there are other concerns regarding condoms. Some condoms are lubricated with a spermicide, or nonoxynol-9, which can irritate the vagina and rectum. Also, latex condoms can trigger an allergic reaction, with symptoms ranging from mild (a runny nose) to serious (rash, hives), all the way to extreme (airway constriction).
Spermicidal condoms should be avoided not just for the aforementioned reason, but also that they have a shorter shelf life, are more expensive, and have not been found to be more effective than non-spermicidal condoms.
Other downsides include lowered sensation and the fact that stopping to put on a condom does much to ruin the excitement of sex had at the spur of the moment.
Unless you are allergic to latex, if you use a non-spermicidal condom, you will most likely be fine - especially if you and your partner are STD-free. While pregnancy is a possibility, condoms (when the right size) do provide a high rate of protection. However, if you need a 100% foolproof way to avoid pregnancy or catching an STD, your only option is abstinence.
Possible short-term side effects
- decreased pleasure
- genital irritation
- latex allergic reaction
Ingredients to be aware of
- nonoxynol-9 (spermicide)
- helps prevent unwanted pregnancy
- helps prevent std transmission
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Written by Jeff Volling | 12-28-2015
Written by Jeff Volling
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