By Sara Choate–
Q: I’m thinking about getting condoms with spermicidal lubricant. Are these better than the regular ones?
A: Spermicide, or nonoxynol-9, while helpful in killing sperm as a contraception method, is no longer recommended for use with barrier methods (i.e., male and female condoms) because it irritates the delicate skin cells of the vagina and rectum. As a result, it causes small lacerations, which dramatically increase the likelihood of STI transmission, including HIV.
Instead of using spermicide, I recommend getting a quality sexual lubricant and using it generously with your favorite condom. (DO NOT use oils or oil-based lotions because they will disintegrate latex!) Condoms will break if there is too much friction. Even though a condom is labeled ‘lubricated’, they only have a very small amount—not enough to keep the condom slippery for the entire sexual encounter. So, if you don’t have a favorite sexual lube yet, I encourage you and your partner to make a trip to the local pharmacy, and explore their personal lubricant options. NOTE: Most lubricants are filled with chemicals. Consider getting a water-based organic option like Good Clean Love, which is a healthier option for you and your partner’s bodies. If you want something a little slicker, try a silicone-based lube.
And for the fellas, put a dab of lube inside the tip of the condom before you roll it on to make it more fun and enjoyable for you to wear.
Learn more. Play safe!