11 Different Types of Condoms Available in the Market

Updated on & Medically Reviewed by Dr Lalitha
11 Different Types of Condoms Available in the Market

Are you curious to explore the diverse world of condoms? This blog is for you. There are several types of condoms available in the market that vary in shapes, colours, and sizes. You can opt for different qualities like lubricated and ribbed, along with materials like latex or lambskin, based on your comfort and preferences.

Condoms play a vital role in reducing the transmission of sexually transmitted infections (STIs) during oral, genital, or anal sex, acting as a barrier against skin-to-skin contact. Additionally, they offer around 82% effectiveness in preventing unplanned pregnancies(Reference). However, it's essential to consider that each type of condom has its own advantages and disadvantages. In this blog, let's see the types of condoms and their advantages.

Types of Condoms

Let's take a look at the different types of condoms and their respective advantages. This way, individuals can select based on their personal preferences.

1. Latex Condoms

Standard latex condoms are widely used and trusted for their reliability in preventing both pregnancies and sexually transmitted infections (STIs)(Reference). Latex, being non-porous, is an easily producible material, making these condoms cost-effective.

However, it's crucial to avoid using oil-based lubricants such as lotion, massage oil, baby oil, or Vaseline with latex condoms, as these can weaken the latex, reducing their effectiveness. Instead, opt for water or silicone-based lubricants for safe use.

It's also a good idea to see a doctor to get tested for a possible latex allergy if you have any discomfort, such as itching, redness, or rash, after wearing a latex condom.(Reference)

2. Non-Latex Condoms

For people who are allergic to latex or want to try a different option, non-latex condoms are a great choice. These condoms are usually made of materials like polyurethane, polyisoprene, or lambskin. Polyurethane condoms are thinner than latex condoms, which makes them more sensitive.

Polyisoprene condoms provide a similar feel to latex but don't cause allergic reactions. Lambskin condoms are effective in preventing pregnancy but may not protect against STIs because they are porous. (Reference)

3. Flavoured Condoms

The purpose of flavoured condoms is to make oral sex more exciting. They enhance the experience for both parties because they are available in a range of flavours, including strawberry, banana, chocolate, and mint. The fact that flavoured condoms are meant to be used orally only and shouldn't be used for penetrative sex is crucial to remember because they could have chemicals or sugars that irritate the skin.

4. Textured Condoms

Textured condoms feature raised bumps, ribs, or ridges along the surface to enhance sexual pleasure. These textures can stimulate the area of erection and increase sensation during intercourse, leading to a more satisfying experience for both partners. However, it's essential to choose textured condoms carefully, as some individuals may find certain textures uncomfortable or overly stimulating.

5. Thin or Ultra-Thin Condoms

Extra-thin condoms, also known as ultra-thin condoms, are designed to maximize sensitivity while still providing adequate protection. Made from super-thin materials, these condoms offer a more natural feel, allowing for increased sensation during intercourse. Although they are thinner than standard condoms, they are just as effective in preventing STIs and pregnancies when used correctly.

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6. Lubricated Condoms

These latex condoms come with lubrication built in. As a result, you won't have to bring your own or worry if your lubrication is compatible with this latex condom (remember how oil-based lubes can degrade latex?).

Lubricated condoms help reduce friction due to vaginal dryness. This can reduce irritation and prevent the condom from tearing or breaking.

7. Tingling Condoms

These condoms, which include a specially made lubricant, offer a "tingling" feeling for one or both partners. Some individuals find this mild prickle extremely pleasant, while others find it painful or barely noticeable—it's all a matter of personal preference.

8. Large and XL Condoms

These offer a more comfortable fit for people who find standard-sized condoms excessively tight or constricting. These condoms suit larger penises while still providing enough protection since they are longer and have a broader diameter than standard condoms. Selecting a proper-sized condom is crucial to avoid slippage or breakage during sexual activity.

9. Spermicidal Condoms

Spermicidal condoms are coated with a spermicide called nonoxynol-9, which immobilises or kills sperm cells, further reducing the risk of pregnancy. While these condoms offer an extra layer of protection, they may cause irritation or allergic reactions in some individuals. Additionally, the efficacy of spermicidal condoms in preventing STIs is limited, so they should be used in conjunction with other safer sex practices.

10. Lambskin Condoms

Lambskin condoms are crafted from animal intestines, which can provide a more natural feel and potentially heighten sensitivity during intercourse.

However, it's important to know that lambskin is significantly more porous compared to other materials used in condoms. This means that STIs such as HIV or herpes can easily pass through the material, rendering lambskin condoms ineffective in protecting against STIs.

Additionally, their porous nature makes them much less reliable in preventing pregnancy. Therefore, unless no other condom option is available, it's advisable to avoid using lambskin condoms.

11. Internal Condoms

Internal condoms, also known as female condoms, are inserted into the vagina, unlike external condoms. While they are slightly more challenging to use, their effectiveness in practice is around 79%.

To enhance pregnancy prevention, it's recommended to combine them with another form of birth control, such as the birth control pill, an intrauterine device (IUD), or the patch. One significant advantage of internal condoms is that they empower individuals with vaginas by providing them with greater control over their sexual health. Additionally, they can be inserted up to eight hours before sexual activity, eliminating the need for a condom break in the heat of the moment.

However, it's essential to avoid using internal condoms simultaneously with external condoms, as doing so increases the risk of breakage for both.

Individuals can choose the finest alternative for their needs and tastes from a wide range of condom varieties. Whether it's increasing sensitivity with extra-thin condoms or creating excitement with flavoured or textured condoms, the idea is to prioritise safe sex practices to avoid STIs and unexpected pregnancies. By understanding the different types of condoms and their benefits, individuals can make informed choices to enhance their sexual health and well-being.

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Disclaimer: The information provided on this page is not a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. If you have any questions or concerns about your health, please talk to a healthcare professional.

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