Types of Condoms: Everything You Need to Know

Condoms are not just about different sizes and thicknesses. Modern condoms are available in a wide variety of different styles and types, each with its pros and cons. Their knowledge can bring a new spark into your sex life and make your experience safer and more enjoyable.

Latex Condoms

Regular latex condoms are the most commonly used type of condoms on the market. They take advantage of outstanding elastic properties of latex, which allow the condom to stretch up to 8 times its original size before breaking. When used correctly, this type of condom is 98% effective in preventing pregnancy and is the only form of birth control that also prevents STIs, according to Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

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The manufacturing process is regulated by the ISO 4074 and CEN standards. These standards require that each condom is tested for punctures and structural weaknesses before it’s packaged and shipped to stores. Most latex condoms come pre-lubricated, but there may not be enough lubricant for a comfortable sexual experience. When applying additional lubrication with latex condoms, it’s very important to stay clear of oil-based lubricants, including petroleum jelly, cooking oil, baby oil, and various creams and suntan lotions. Only use water- or silicon-based lubrication.

The biggest downside to latex condoms is the fact that they contain antibody generators, which are molecules capable of inducing an immune response on the part of the host organism. People who experience allergic reactions when using latex condoms should, instead, go with the following type.

Non-Latex Condoms

Non-latex condoms are usually made from polyurethane which is an advanced plastic that conduct heats well, thinner and looser in size which can enhance your sensitivity during sex. It is also as effective as latex condoms in preventing pregnancy and also no bad latex smells, that’s why many people have switched to polyurethane condoms once they tried it.

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Another big advantage of polyurethane condoms is that they can be used with any kind of lubrication – even oil-based lubricants that weaken latex condoms. The effectiveness of non-latex condoms is closer to 95%, according to the World Health Organization (WHO). It’s also worth noting that polyurethane isn’t the only non-latex material used to manufacture condoms – there’s also polyisoprene, nitrile, or lambskin – but it’s, by far, the most prevalent one.

Spermicide Condoms

Spermicide condoms used to be considered to be the best option for maximum protection against unwanted pregnancies because it coated with a layer of chemicals to kill the sperms, but latest findings seems to prove this wrong. According to research, condoms lubricated with spermicide provide no additional benefit in preventing pregnancy. In fact, the presence of spermicide only shortens sperm’s lifespan and may even cause urinary-tract infections in women. To make things even worse, recent studies have shown that nonoxynol-9, the spermicidal chemical added to the lubrication, may increase the risk of HIV transmission.

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If you don’t have any other type of condoms lying around, spermicide condoms are still better than no protection at all, but it’s probably best to avoid them in the future.

Colored Condoms

Colored condoms are just regular latex condoms with a harmless coloring agent thrown in to make things more interesting. They can be a great way how to add something special to your sex life and make the sexual experience more visually stimulating.

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The Glow In The Dark condom is an example, it is made out of three layers with latex at the inside and the outside, the middle layer contains phosphorus pigment that makes the condom turns into color. I highly suggest you to try it if you never used one before, it is fun!

Flavored Condoms

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This type of novelty condom comes in an endless variety of different flavors, including strawberry, vanilla, blueberry, cola, licorice, and many others. They are really just regular latex condoms with extra flavoring. It’s best to reserve them only for oral sex, as they are known to cause painful irritation down south. You can even buy multiple flavors at the same time and use them in combination with a blindfold to have a fun tasting game.

Ultra-Thin Condoms

For a long time, the thinnest condom in the world was Sagami Original 0.02. As the name suggests, the condom has the thickness of just 0.02 mm, making it more than twice as thin than the popular Durex Sensi-Thin. Sagami has recently beaten their own record with the introduction of the 0.018 mm thick Sagami 0.01, which was shortly after beaten by the current thinnest condom in the world: Unique Pull, a 0.015 mm thin condom made from a polyethylene resin.

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The greatest advantage of ultra-thin condoms is the enhanced sensation they provide. Men who have been using regular condoms for their entire life often say that they feel like they don’t wear one at all.

Textured (Ribbed/Studded) Condoms

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Some condoms enhance the sexual pleasure of the woman and sometimes even of the man. For example, the Pleasure Plus features an internal ribbing, which puts extra pressure on the penis, while the Durex Pleasure Me condoms have ribs and dots to introduce additional stimulation during penetration. Textured condoms are often considerably more expensive than regular condoms, so they are better reserved for special occasions.

Female Condoms

Female condoms were invented in the 1980s by Lasse Hessel, who is a well-known Danish inventor and doctor. Unlike male condoms, female condoms are worn internally to act as a barrier contraceptive against STDs and unintended pregnancy.

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The female condom is easily recognizable because of two visible rings at each end. One ring is used for insertion while the other one acts as a sheath that covers the external genitalia. The original material of choice for manufacturers was polyurethane, but modern female condoms are made from synthetic nitrile. This type of condom has a 5% failure rate when used correctly, but as much as 21% when used incorrectly. The major advantage is that it puts the woman in charge of their own sexual health, given her an option to protect herself even if the partner doesn’t want to use a regular condom.

 

 

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