SELF may earn a portion of sales from products that are purchased through our site as part of our Affiliate Partnerships with retailers. There are different levels of latex allergy. They have similar efficacy to latex condoms and work in similar ways Find out about male and female condoms and how to use them. The common symptoms associated with condom allergy include, Itching in the vagina soon after a sexual act using condom. It’s likely because they have similar proteins to the ones in natural latex, according to the AAAAI. Latex comes from the milky sap of rubber trees and natural rubber latex can contain proteins that cause allergic reactions. This can increase the risk of infections, such as bacterial vaginosis and STIs. If you have a less severe reaction, your doctor may prescribe antihistamines or corticosteroids, which can help control your symptoms. So people with spina bifida (who are often exposed to latex), health care workers, those who have been through several surgeries or medical procedures, and rubber industry workers are at the highest risk of having a latex allergy. Some people with a latex allergy are also allergic to certain fruits. Any information published on this website or by this brand is not intended as a substitute for medical advice, and you should not take any action before consulting with a healthcare professional. While a vulvar or vaginal reaction to latex condoms will usually go away when you stop using them, Dr. Whelihan says you may be able to use a mild hydrocortisone cream down there to help with the symptoms while you wait it out. According to the American College of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology, symptoms of anaphylaxis include: The symptoms of anaphylaxis occur suddenly and can progress rapidly. ), this health condition can be tricky to diagnose. Chest tightness 2. It’s unclear why, exactly, some people develop a latex allergy, but the Mayo Clinic says that repeated exposure may increase sensitivity to the material. Latex allergy, caused by exposure to latex condoms, is probably the most common cause of allergic reactions during sex. These tests involve analyzing a blood sample or exposing the skin to potential allergens. “Women can have irritation down there for a variety of reasons,” she says. Some lubricants also contain spermicides. If your symptoms are mild, an antihistamine or corticosteroid may help, the Mayo Clinic says. That injection should help stop your symptoms quickly. You develop an allergic reaction because your immune system, which usually reacts to viruses, bacteria, and toxins, also reacts to latex. Spermicide is available as a gel, foam, or suppository. Keep reading to learn exactly how to figure out if you have a latex condom allergy, plus which latex-free options are available to you instead. As with any type of allergy, the first exposure to latex allergens usually does not cause any reaction. Urticaria or skin rash/ hives 2. That would be rare, but needs immediate medical attention. Top 5 natural antihistamines for allergies, frequent urination that may cause a painful burning sensation. They may also test the person’s blood for the presence of latex antibodies. When a person uses it frequently, however, it can cause irritation and soreness. IgE-Mediated Latex Allergy (Type I) An IgE-mediated latex allergy is an allergy to natural rubber latex proteins. Still, there are a few things you can do if you accidentally come into contact with a latex condom. According to a 2016 review, these allergies may occur in around 4.3% of the world’s population. Latex proteins and substances in lubricants and spermicides can all cause allergic reactions. An allergic reaction can occur when latex … Latex comes from the milky sap of rubber trees. This article describes the symptoms of a latex allergy and looks into other allergic reactions that can occur during or after sex. Because latex condom allergy symptoms can be similar to other issues down there (hello, yeast infections! Latex allergy can also lead to life-threatening anaphylactic shock. All rights reserved. Anyone who experiences a severe allergic reaction should seek medical attention immediately. A person should contact emergency services immediately if they or someone around them experiences anaphylaxis. Anaphylaxis is a severe allergic reaction that requires urgent medical attention. A latex condom allergy can be tough to diagnose, Maureen Whelihan, M.D., an ob-gyn at the Center for Sexual Health & Education, tells SELF. However you choose to handle a latex condom allergy, we're wishing you and all of your parts good luck. Watery eyes 5. This condom, which has one closed end and one open end, goes into the vagina instead of over a penis. Latex allergy (Type I) symptoms range from skin irritation to respiratory symptoms to life-threatening anaphylaxis – and there’s no way to predict which will occur if exposed. The treatment for an allergy depends on its severity. See a doctor if symptoms of an allergic reaction persist for several days after the last exposure to the suspected trigger. All rights reserved. Are you latex-sensitive or latex-allergic? Keep in mind that dental dams are also often made out of latex, so they can also cause latex allergy symptoms. Latex is a fluid that comes from rubber trees, which is where most natural rubber is derived, according to the American Academy of Allergy, Asthma, & Immunology (AAAAI). To help prevent future allergic reactions, a person can try products that do not contain these ingredients. Two types of non-latex condoms exist as options for those allergic to latex. “But when we go through the list of things that cause irritation of the vulva, we ask, ‘Do you use latex condoms?’”. The downsides: They tend to be more expensive than latex condoms, and they may also break more easily, the Cleveland Clinic says. Examples include healthcare workers and housekeeping personnel. What Are The Symptoms Of A Latex Allergy? Itching 3. Symptoms of latex allergy may be mild at first, progressing to more serious types of symptoms. Medically reviewed by Mary Jane Minkin, M.D. To revisit this article, visit My Profile, then View saved stories. Spermicide is a form of birth control that prevents sperm from reaching the egg. Find out about the causes of latex allergy, its symptoms, and treatments. A doctor can perform tests to confirm whether a person has a particular allergy. Allergies to latex condoms occur in both men and women. So during sex, women with latex allergies may encounter vaginal swelling and itching.” “Mucus membrane exposure to a condom in a woman with latex allergy could provoke a serious systemic reaction,” he explains. To diagnose a latex allergy, a doctor will review the person’s medical history and symptoms. Synthetic condoms, made with polyurethane, are deemed to be as safe as latex condoms … A condom can prevent pregnancy and reduce the risk of sexually transmitted infections. The most common reasons for this reaction is either an allergy to the latex the condom is made from, or an allergy to an added ingredient such as spermicide. It's made from synthetic latex, so it’s safe for people with latex allergies. The following are the most common identifiers that you may be sensitive to latex. In the case of condoms, it can vary. Unfortunately, internal condoms have slightly higher failure rates than external condoms. A person can choose from a wide range of methods to avoid pregnancy. People can also buy condoms coated in spermicide. People can also try natural lubricants, such as aloe vera gel. In rare cases, these allergies can result in death due to anaphylaxis. The least threatening type of latex reaction, classified as a non-allergenic skin reaction. Allergies happen when your immune system overreacts to an otherwise harmless substance, leading to allergy symptoms. The reasons for this phenomenon are different, as are the ways to get rid of it. Men should seek out non-latex condoms in order to protect themselves - and their partners - from unwanted sexual side effects. According to a report from the World Health Organization (WHO), frequent spermicide use may also increase a person’s risk of contracting sexually transmitted infections (STIs) — such as gonorrhea and chlamydia — because it may make the vaginal mucosa more susceptible to invasion from microorganisms. 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