Jul 19, 2001
while using a spermicidal condom (trojan) during sex the head of my penis started burning. this has happened before. i only use spermicidal condoms. do they really kill the sperm? why does it burn?
Response from Mr. Kull
You should stop using condoms with spermicide on them and see if you notice a difference. Many people believe that they are allergic to latex, when in fact they might be allergic to the lubricant or spermicide that is on the condom. A recent study conducted among African sex workers demonstrated that those who used lubrication with nonoxynol-9(a popular spermicide) were more likely to get infected with HIV than those who used lube without N-9. Some spermicides, like nonoxynol-9, can cause irritation and inflammation of the mucous membranes, increasing the risk for infection. Some people may not notice the irritation, while others may actually feel the reaction (like a burning sensation). See my response to "Spermicides" (http://www.thebody.com/Forums/AIDS/SafeSex/Archive/PreventionSexual/Q11022.qna).
The Centers for Disease Control took note of this study and has recommended that people use condoms or lubricant without nonoxynol-9 (if one is interested in disease prevention; N-9 is still effective in preventing pregnancy because it does inactivate sperm). The small amount of n-9 that is on a condom probably does not provide enough microbicidal benefit to actually prevent infection anyway.
If given the choice, using a condom with a spermicide on it is better than not using a condom at all.
You can buy condoms that have spermicide-free lube on them. You can also buy a condom that is non-lubricated and buy some spermicide-free lube (K-Y is one of them).
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