Here are five things that may happen to your body if you choose to switch to condoms as a contraceptive method. None of these should be taken as a good reason to have sex without protection; find other ways to protect yourself if condoms don’t appeal.
1. You May Experience Irritation If You Have A Latex Allergy
The point of condoms is their user-friendliness, but one particular side-effect might pop up if you turn out to have an aversion to latex: a skin allergy. The range of symptoms can be pretty vast, from rashes, burning sensations, and itchiness to scaling skin and racing heart rate, depending on the particular type of allergy you have.
2. You Might Produce Fewer Antibodies Against Sperm
This is a weird one. The philosophy behind this idea is that exposure to sperm without the interference of a condom can actually hinder the development of anti-sperm antibodies in some women, which are powerful little things that “act by blocking sperm movement, capacitation, fertilization and inhibition of embryo implantation” according to one 2011 study of their role in infertility. It’s an immune reaction that’s not really understood very well, though it seems to have some relation to having sex during your period.
3. You Won’t Impact Your Fertility In Any Way
The presence of latex or non-latex materials in your vagina during sex won’t actually harm your chances of having babies later on. Condoms are one of the “barrier methods” of contraception, which act as physical blocks between sperm and the female reproductive system. Part of their point is that they’re highly temporary, and that your innate fertility can be immediately restored by stopping their usage. They won’t do anything to your menstrual cycle, or leave anything nasty behind in your reproductive system to cause problems later.
4. You May Be Less Happy
If you’re on another method of birth control and with a partner who has no STD risks, you may choose to eschew condoms once you’ve heard this one. It turns out that there may be a link between direct exposure to semen in women and more happiness. The link was discovered in a 2002 study of 293 women that found that higher condom usage seemed to be correlated with lower mood.
5. You May Not Produce Enough Natural Lubrication
This is an interesting one: some women seem to believe that condoms actually cause vaginas to produce less lubrication, but it’s not the case. Instead, with a condom can feel drier because the surface is fundamentally different to that of a penis, and causes more friction and possible “dry” feelings for both organs. It’s not sucking moisture out of anything though, I promise. It hasn’t altered your functioning; it’s actually just altered your needs for a smooth ride. Lubrication is a good idea with condoms anyway, but do not use oil-based ones, as they’ll degrade the latex of the condom and raise the risk of breakage.