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Condoms, as we all know, provides protection against STDs such as HIV, chlamydia and HPV. This can especially come in handy when having sex during pregnancy as the unborn child will stay protected from all of these STDs. Condoms can also prevent unwanted pregnancies thus allowing you to have sex without worrying about planning for another child. Before we get into knowing what side effects condoms can have, let us discuss a couple of things about condoms.

There are two broad types of condoms available in the market - the male condom and the female condom. The male condom is to be worn over the penis during intercourse. To prevent breakage, you can make use of a suitable lubricant - the natural vaginal secretions would work just fine. Female condoms are to be inserted into the vagina. You may have to use extra lubricant when using these. Female condoms are not as popular as the male condoms but they do the same thing.

NOTE: Avoid using both condoms at once as it can result in tearing or the condoms and thus leaking the sperm.

Condoms can also be classified based on the material used - latex, plastic or lambskin condoms. They all work well in preventing unwanted pregnancies. But the animal skin condoms do not provide protection against sexually transmitted diseases. So, always opt for rubber or plastic condoms unless you don’t have an option. All that said and done, condoms do offer the best possible protection. Even if you do decide to get an IUD or use other methods of birth control, you should always use a condom as well since it offers the best protection against STDs compared to any other form of birth control.

Following are the side effects of using condoms:

1. Latex Allergy

Some people may develop a latex allergy after using a latex condom. This may be an allergic response to the high protein content in the rubber material. Symptoms of a latex allergy can include wheezing, sneezing, runny nose, and dizziness. So, it is best to switch to using plastic/synthetic condoms if either one of you is allergic to the latex condoms. Do note that it may be difficult to find a suitable lubricant for usage with the synthetic condoms.

2. Risk of Pregnancy

Although condoms are supposed to prevent unwanted pregnancies, they only promise a 98% chance of prevention. This means that if the condom slips or breaks during intercourse, it can lead to an unwanted pregnancy. The chances of getting pregnant with the proper usage of the condom are 2 out of 100 women. If the condom is used incorrectly, the risk goes up to 15 out of 100 women.

3. Acquiring other STDs

The condoms cover up the entire penis and can thus provide protection against most dangerous STDs such as HIV, chlamydia, syphilis, HPV, and gonorrhoea. It also reduces the risk of contracting genital herpes from an infected partner. But the condoms don’t protect every part of the skin where herpes can shed. Also, condoms don’t protect against diseases and infections that can spread on the outer layers of the skin such as scabies infections and molluscum contagiosum.

4. Interfering with sexual activity

Many complain that using condoms can significantly reduce the pleasure of having sex. This may be because of the extra lubricant that would need to be used and the lack of pleasure that only skin-to-skin contact can provide.

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