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When a Woman Doesn't Want To Use a Condom

Here Are Some Tips To Try


Updated May 21, 2014

Written or reviewed by a board-certified physician. See About.com's Medical Review Board.

Young man sitting on bed, woman sleeping in background
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Although many people think that it's always the male sex partner who is reluctant to use a condom, that isn't actually the case. Often it's a woman saying that she doesn't like sex with condoms or want to use them.

Some women are just stubborn, self destructive, only worried about pregnancy, or unable to think of themselves of being at risk for STDs, but other women don't like condoms because they make sex uncomfortable or even painful. The first group requires some creative convincing or possibly just needs to be given a polite refusal. The second group, however, can actually be helped.

Three common reasons why women have bad experiences with condom sex are latex allergies, problems with nonoxynol-9, and partners who don't use enough lubricant. The irritation from any one of these problems can leave a woman feeling not only uncomfortable, but also vulnerable to urinary tract infections, yeast infections, and bacterial vaginosis. Fortunately, all of these problems are pretty easy to deal with.

If your partner tells you that condoms make sex hurt, here are some ways to make it more comfortable to practice safer sex:

  • Switch to unlubricated condoms and then use a lot of water-based, or silicone-based lubricant (making sure that it doesn't have N-9). You can (almost) never have too much lube. Lube is an easy way to make sex better.
  • Try a couple of different condom brands, because different latex condoms may contain different types of plant proteins - and it's generally those that individuals that are allergic, or sensitive, to rather than the latex itself.
  • Switch to polyurethane condoms. These condoms are latex free and protective against STDs (which natural skin condoms are not) and you can use oil-based lubricants with them. They are, however, somewhat more expensive than latex condoms, and may break more frequently. Polyisoprene condoms are also a new latex-free alternative and may be preferable to polyurethane condoms for some individuals.

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