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Whether you are sexually active or not, and no matter the reason you are using condoms, there are some ingredients and characteristics of condoms that you should avoid. 

Even if you don’t need a condom to prevent pregnancy, using condoms and female dams are important for preventing STDs. You just should do your research (or read this article) to learn what you should avoid when buying condoms. 

Lambskin condoms: 

Lambskin might seem like a good alternative to plastic but they aren’t good for protecting you against STDs. These condoms are made from lambs and ONLY protect against pregnancy. 

Spermicide:

You should avoid using condoms with spermicide on them. Spermicide deteriorates the walls of the anus and the vagina, and there is no research that suggests that these condoms prevent pregnancy more than traditional condoms. They also increase the risk of getting HIV or an STI if you come in contact with it. Some brands of condoms that have spermicide are Trojan Her Pleasure, the Trojan Pleasure pack, Vaginal Contraceptive Film and more. 

Sensations condoms: 

Sensations condoms can actually cause burning, which is not the sensation you want to feel during sex (unless you’re into that?). Here are some condoms that could cause burning: Trojan Pleasure pack, Durex Extra Sensitive, Trojan Fire and Ice and more. 

If you have used them before and they don’t bother you, make sure that if you are using it with someone else they are okay with it and they don’t have a bad reaction to it.

Ribbed and dotted condoms: 

Condoms that are ribbed and dotted are okay if you like them, but not all people do. So, don’t assume that someone wants the added pleasure, have an unribbed alternative and ask before you use them. Some condoms with dots and ribs are the Trojan Pleasure pack and Durex extra sensitive.

Benzocaine (numbing agent): 

Benzocaine is not necessarily bad, but it does cause some people to go soft, so you would want to try it out on your own first before you use it. A condom with benzocaine in it is Trojan’s Extended Pleasure. 

Flavored condoms: 

Flavored condoms are okay for you to use externally only. Sugar is bad for the vagina because it kills important bacteria. 

Some good condoms for you to try: 

Durex Latex Free

Durex ultra-thin  Skyn is always latex-free

Magnums are a good option if they fit correctly 

Trojan ENZ

Trojan Ultra Thin 

A note on ultra-thin:  Ultra-thin condoms just have thinner latex. It doesn’t mean that they break easier because they have all been mechanically tested. 

If you are ever unsure about a condom or ingredient do some research online. I got the majority of my information in this article from @chaseinsexed on TikTok!   

(she/her) Madison Thompson is a junior at The University of Missouri- Columbia and has direct admission into the Donald W. Reynolds Journalism School. She is an older sister and loves to read and write. In addition to Journalism, Madison loves creative writing. Madison has a self-published poetry book titled "The Journey". Her Poem Supermarket was a finalist in the 2019 KET writing contest.
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