Friday, December 28, 2012
DOES PROLONGED USE OF CONDOMS HAVE NEGATIVE EFFECTS?
Some people incorrectly believe that using male condoms can cause side effects or health risks such as illness, infection, disease, or cancer in men and women.
There are no known serious short or long term side effects associated with the use of condoms. When a condom is used, ejaculation occurs as normal, so there is no sperm “back up.” There is no evidence that condoms cause cancer, either in men or women. In fact, the use of condoms may
help protect against conditions caused by STIs including recurring pelvic inflammatory disease, cervical cancer, and infertility.
It is possible that a person may experience mild irritation in or around the vagina or penis or mild allergic reaction to a condom (itching, redness, rash, and/or swelling of genitals, groin, or thighs during or after condom use). Severe allergic reactions involve hives or rash over much of the body, dizziness, difficulty breathing, or loss of consciousness after coming in contact with latex. Both men and women can be allergic to latex and latex condoms. Allergy to latex is uncommon in the general population, and reports of mild allergic reactions to condoms are very rare. Severe allergic reactions to condoms are extremely rare.
Plastic condoms made of synthetic materials offer an alternative for individuals who are allergic or sensitive to latex. Plastic condoms are expected to provide the same protection as latex condoms, but they have not been studied as thoroughly. The United States Food and Drug Administration recommends that condoms made of plastic be used for protection from STIs, including HIV, only if a person cannot use latex condoms. Condoms made of animal skin such as lambskin (also called natural skin condoms) are not effective for preventing STIs, including HIV, however.