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What are condoms made of?

Expert:   Logan Levkoff Ph.D, Sex Educator »

Condoms are usually made of latex. But there are a few different types of condoms. Learn more about latex, polyurethane, lambskin and polyisoprene.

Transcript: What ARE condoms made of? It’s a good thing to know, because WHAT a condom is made of could make a difference to your sexual health.LATEX condoms are the most widely available AND cheapest. Latex is basically liquid rubber, but the raw latex gets processed, and several compounds are added to increase shelf life AND durability. Latex condoms are VERY effective against pregnancy AND STIs.Latex alternatives include polyurethane and polyisoprene condoms. These are popular for people with latex allergies, AND in making the FEMALE condom. Polyurethane condoms are made from plastic, while polyisoprene is a synthetic version of natural rubber. Both are FDA approved to protect against STIs and unwanted pregnancy.You’ll often find that condoms are COATED with either lubricant or spermicide. The lube on LATEX condoms will ALWAYS be either water or silicone-based, as oil-based lubes can DAMAGE latex condoms. On-screen txt: Always read product labels to determine if a lubricant is condom compatibleAside from lubricant, some condoms are coated with spermicide for added protection for added protection against pregnancy. This kills sperm – but the chemical in it, called Nonoxynol 9, might irritate genital tissue. Earlier condoms were made of lambskin. Still available, these allow for a very natural feel AND prevent against pregnancy, but lambskin condoms are too porous to prevent sexually transmitted infections from passing through, so are NOT a good choice against STIs….SO, the most POPULAR condoms are made from LATEX. Knowing what goes INTO your condom will help you get the most OUT of your sex life. More »

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