Ask Ang 1/22: Navigating a Latex Allergy in the Bedroom
I recently started being sexually active and I'm concerned that I have a latex allergy. How do I navigate this?
While full-blown, serious latex allergies are relatively rare, present in less than 1% of the population, mild reactions to latex are more common. If you think you have a latex allergy, or any negative reaction to latex, the first step is to stop using any latex products, both for sexual activities and more broadly in everyday life.
Symptoms of a latex allergy include itching, redness, and swelling on areas of the skin that come into contact with the latex. More serious symptoms can include difficulty breathing, coughing, sneezing, etc. When dealing with latex condoms these symptoms will be concentrated in areas that experience the most contact with the condom - the area directly surrounding the vagina as well as discomfort within the vagina, the surface of the penis, and for oral intercourse the mouth. If more serious symptoms such as a rash that persists, hives, or swelling not in the area of direct contact occurs the allergy may be more serious and a doctor should be consulted.
Overall, if you are concerned about a poor reaction to anything used during sex, discontinue use immediately and switch products or consult a doctor. H*yas for Choice provides latex-free condoms at our table (just ask!) and through Condom Fairies (re-launching soon!).
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