Allergy to condoms

, medical expert
Last reviewed: 25.06.2018

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In the modern world, according to some sources, up to 25% of the population suffers from various types of allergies in a variety of manifestations. One of the types of contact allergies is an allergy to condoms. This type of allergy can manifest itself immediately, at the first contact, and after a certain time (according to the principle of accumulation of incoming allergens, ie, in a slow type). This type of contact allergy has one feature - allergic manifestations are not noticeable at the point of contact with the allergen, which can at first complicate the diagnosis.

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What causes allergy to condoms?

To date, the reasons for the allergy to condoms are established - the reason for all is polyurethane (an organic compound derived from plant juice), which is used to make condoms, gloves, nipples for children and many other products. When condoms are used, molecules of organic matter penetrate into the mucous membranes and provoke the immune system. To form an immune response to polyurethane, as a rule, a lot of time is required (a period of prolonged contact with polyurethane is required), the higher the availability of immunity to various allergic reactions, the faster the allergic response to polyurethane will form.

Symptoms of allergy to condoms

Manifestations, that is, allergy symptoms to condoms, can be varied. As a rule, these are local reactions - a feeling of burning, discomfort, irritation on the mucous in the place of contact with polyurethane, abundant discharge and swelling of mucous membranes, redness, as well as general reactions in the form of dermatitis, coughing attacks . Sometimes attacks of allergy to latex mask the signs of sexually transmitted diseases. It should be remembered: if allergic symptoms continue to build up after contact with the allergen is interrupted, the condition does not improve for several days, frequent urination or unusual odor of discharge appears - this is an occasion for immediate medical attention.

Not always polyurethane is the only culprit of allergic episodes - quite often there is an allergy to condom lubrication, which consists of synthetic components. In the market of condoms there are several types of lubricants - silicone, polyethylene glycol, water-based lubricants, can be added spermicide (nonoxenol 9). The most common cases of allergy to lubrication are allergic to nonoxenol, which is part of the lubricant. This drug damages not only the membrane of the sperm, but also destroys the cells of the vaginal mucosa, causing massive microscopic cell damage.

Thus, allergy to a condom in women can have a complex component - it's allergy to latex, and an allergy to some kind of lubricant, and an allergy to spermicide. Regardless of the reasons, almost allergic manifestations in women will begin with discharge, discomfort, edema, as well as with infection. With the accumulation of an allergen, dermatitis, rhinitis, lacrimation and dyspnea may occur . It should be noted that the development of allergic reactions to a condom in pregnant women is rare, probably because of the special condition of the immune system during pregnancy. To clarify the type of allergy, you should conduct allergic tests (as the contact field can act as skin, and any readily accessible surfaces of mucous membranes, for example, the oral cavity).

Increasingly, there is an allergy to condoms in men, the symptoms of which are similar to the symptoms of infection. In the case of manifestations of allergy in men, redness, swelling, dermatitis, rhinitis, lacrimation, sneezing, suffocation, coughing should be noted. Erection can be much harder. In case of suspected allergy to a condom, men should be excluded from allergic to sperm. As allergens for men can act the same polyurethane (as a derivative of vegetable raw materials), lubricants and their components. The manifestation of the immune response will depend on the aggressiveness of the constituent lubricants, microdamage on the mucous member greatly accelerate the process of formation of the immune response.

Treatment of allergy to condoms

In the case of the appearance of symptoms, treatment of allergies to condoms is to stop contact with the allergen and eliminate particles of the allergic substance. Further, depending on the patient's condition, you should take antihistamines or refer the patient to the hospital for first aid. This type of allergy is difficult to sensitize the type of treatment, so it is more rational to change the method of contraception or to use non-polyurethane condoms. If the condom is allergic to a reaction to the lubricant or its components, it is sufficient to change the brand of the product and carefully study the composition.

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