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Flavoured condoms

Flavoured external (or male) condoms are colorful latex condoms that come in a variety of flavours. They are popular for oral sex because some people do not like the taste of regular condoms.

Flavored condoms and oral sex

It is safe to use flavoured condoms for oral sex. The flavors and colors added to these condoms are the same additives that are used in food products and are safe to swallow.

Flavored condoms and penetrative sex

There are different ideas about the safety of using flavoured condoms for penetrative sex (like vaginal or anal sex). There are three main areas of concern:

  1. Some condom manufacturers say that say that flavoured condoms are safe for penetrative sex, while some health educators say that the additives in flavoured condoms can irritate sensitive genital tissues. However, there is no official research on using flavoured condoms for penetrative sex. While there is a chance that some individuals might experience irritation from the additives in flavoured condoms, this should not happen for most people.
     
  2. Some flavoured condoms use sweeteners like juice concentrates. Some people are concerned that these can sweeteners can cause yeast infections or bacterial vaginosis. While yeast does feed off of sugar, flavoured condoms have such small amounts of sweeteners that they generally do not cause yeast infections.
     
  3. Some people feel that flavoured condoms are weaker than other condoms and are more likely to break. This concern may come from people putting on a condom for oral sex and then using the same condom for penetrative sex. The friction from oral sex, or any contact with teeth during oral sex, may weaken the structure of the condom. It is best to change the condom after oral sex and use a new condom for penetrative sex.

What should I do?

If you have never reacted to flavoured condoms before, the best thing is to do what keeps you safest. If a flavoured condom is all that is available, it is recommended that you use it for whatever sex you’re having. 

If you have a reaction to flavoured condoms, stop using them immediately. Irritated and inflamed tissue increases the possibility of getting some STIs. Try a different brand, or if you already know what additives you react to, ask the manufacturer for a list of ingredients so you know which condoms to avoid.

If you are sensitive to latex, remember that almost all flavoured condoms are made with latex. You can make your own non-latex flavoured condoms by adding water-based, flavoured lube to unlubricated non-latex condoms.

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