Why Do Condoms Hurt?

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A condom is a thin rubber tube designed to prevent pregnancy and sexually transmitted diseases (STDs). They can be rolled onto an erect penis or inserted into the vagina before sex.

However, some people experience pain and itching with condoms due to a variety of reasons. These include latex allergies, the presence of spermicide and poor lubrication.

1. They’re Too Long

If you’re using condoms that are too long, it can cause pain during sex. This is because a condom that’s too long will leave you with a bit of a “roll” at the base of your penis, which can pinch or rub against your genitals. You can avoid this problem by ensuring that your condoms are the right size for you.

Manufacturers calculate their condom sizes based on both length and girth measurements. You can find your condom size by using a flexible tape measure or string, then marking where it crosses your thickest part of the penis. This measurement is your girth, and it’s used to determine which condom size you need. You can also use this measurement to compare sizes between different brands.

Condoms should fit snugly, but not tightly. If they’re too long, they can slip off during sex, increasing your risk of getting pregnant or transmitting an STD. Likewise, if they’re too small, they can be uncomfortable or break during sex.

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To make sure your condoms fit correctly, apply a few drops of water-based or silicone lubricant inside the tip before rolling it on. Avoid oil-based lubricants like vaseline, baby oil, cooking oils or hand lotion, which can damage the rubber. If you’re having trouble finding a condom that feels comfortable, try switching to a latex-free brand, or a polyisoprene-based condom.

2. They’re Too Tight

Sometimes a condom may feel tight or painful during intercourse. This is usually because it’s too narrow for the penis or has to be stretched too much to fit it, which causes pain and can lead to a loss of sensation for both partners. This can be easily avoided by ensuring that the condom fits correctly and using adequate lubrication (preferably water-based). Most brands now offer a range of sizes for their products, including “close fit” and “narrow” options.

It’s also possible that a condom is too loose. If this happens, it can increase the risk of a break or slippage during sexual activity. It can also expose skin to contact fluids and spermicide (the sperm-killing liquid that’s put on some condoms) which increases the risk of STIs.

To check if a condom is the right size, get as fully erect as you can and place a flexible measuring tape around your penis where it’s thickest. Then, use a calculator to divide your girth measurement by 3.14. The result is the diameter of your penis, which you can use to determine if the condom is too loose or too tight. If it’s too loose, it will be baggy and won’t stay on during masturbation; if it’s too tight, it’ll compress your penis and lead to pain. It’s also worth trying a variety of textured condoms, which can be more pleasurable during foreplay.

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3. They’re Made of Latex

A condom is a rubber sheath meant to cover the penis during sex to prevent most STIs and unwanted pregnancies. It’s usually made of natural latex from the Hevea brasiliensis tree. The latex is tapped from the bark, mixed with chemicals, sampled and tested for quality, and then rolled into a condom shape to be sold to consumers. The majority of condoms on the market today are latex, though some contain other materials, such as polyurethane and polyisoprene.

These other condoms are safe for people with latex allergies, and they can be just as effective as the original ones. Some brands also come in lubricated and unlubricated versions, which means that there’s an option for everyone. If you’re allergic to latex, the lubrication can help reduce any friction that could cause pain.

Another reason a condom might hurt is that there’s not enough lubrication. This can happen when the lubricant gets wiped off, or when the condom dries out during use. If this happens, it’s important to reapply lubrication or try a different one. A water-based lubricant is best, because oil-based ones can break down the condom. The same is true for sex toys—they should be made of non-latex material. And, of course, always ask your partner if they’re allergic to latex before engaging in any sex.

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4. They’re Made of Other Materials

Condoms have been around for, like, 5ever, made from everything from lambskin to hollowed-out horns (talk about getting horny). The earliest uncontested description of condom use came from anatomist Gabriello Falloppio in his treatise on syphilis written in 16th-century Italy. These early condoms were essentially linen sheaths that fit over the penis and were held on with ribbons. They were similar in appearance to a woman’s bonnet that was worn at the time, also known as a capote.

Some women avoid using condoms for many reasons. Some claim they are uncomfortable, ruin sexual spontaneity, reduce sensitivity, or imply that they are unfaithful. Others may also believe that they are at lower risk of STDs than they really are and feel they don’t need to use protection.

Some women also experience pain when they use condoms because of friction and a lack of lubrication. Adding extra condom-compatible lubrication can help reduce friction and discomfort. If this doesn’t help, try switching positions or using foreplay to help relax the muscles in your vagina. You can also switch to latex-free condoms like polyurethane or polyisoprene, which are made from synthetic rubber and considerably reduce your chances of an allergic reaction. If you’re still having issues, consult a doctor to see if you have an allergy or other medical condition that is making it hard for you to use condoms effectively.

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