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Difference between Latex and non latex condom

Snr By Bushra Kafeel , Onlymyhealth editorial team / Mar 22, 2013
Difference between Latex and non latex condom

Condoms are the popular barrier device for contraception. They are available in different forms for instance, latex and non latex condoms are largely used across the globe.

Difference between Latex and non latex condom

Male condoms act as a shield against unwanted pregnancy and sexually transmitted diseases (STDs). They come in different size and types. Latex, polyurethane and lambskin condoms are some of the widely available condoms. Even though latex is the most popular condom material but non-latex condoms have their own share of positives. Non latex condoms can be used by people who are allergic to ‘latex’. 

Male latex condoms are widely used for their ability to prevent unplanned pregnancies and STDs. They are available for 150 years now. The allergic reactions of latex condoms led to development of synthetic non-latex alternatives in the 1990s.


Latex Condom

Latex condoms are made up of latex rubber sheath that is designed to cover penis during sexual intercourse. Since beginning, latex condoms are made up of natural rubber latex driven from sap of Hevea brasiliensis tree. Latex condoms have undergone some changes in the last 150 years. For instance, they are now available with spermicidal and non-spermicidal lubricants. In addition, size, shape, texture and thickness have also changes.

They are one of the most uncomplicated barrier- methods of contraception as it does not involve hormonal alteration. Popularity of latex condoms can be seen from the fact that 90% of all the condoms are latex.

Latex has outstanding elasticity properties- it can stretch up to 800% before breaking. In spite of several advantages that make latex a popular condom material there are some related drawbacks as well. Latex condoms damage when used with oil-based lubricants. Petroleum jelly, skin lotions, cooking oil, baby oil, mineral oil, suntan lotions and cold creams result in loss of elasticity and finally breakage or slip of condom. So if you are using latex condoms then make sure to use water-based lubricants.


Non-Latex Condom

Many of us know that condoms are made up of latex. But non-latex condoms are good alternate for them, especially for the people who are allergic to latex. Some of them are made up of polyurethane (a type of plastic) and polyisoprone.


  • Polyurethane condoms are thinner than latex condoms. As a result they give natural feel to the person using it.
  • Non- latex condoms such as polyurethane are not very flexible, hence need lot of lubricants.
  • Unlike latex condoms, here you can use any kind of lubricant. Ranging from water-base to oil base lubricant.
  • It is evident from some clinical studies that in not taken care of, polyurethane condoms are more likely to break. But they are still considered to be acceptable alternate for people who don’t feel comfortable or are allergic to latex condoms.


Read more articles on Condoms




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