Latex allergies are fairly common and have mild to severe symptoms. Many females first discover their allergy after using latex condoms or coming into contact with latex gloves. Although the allergy cannot be cured, the material and the symptoms can be avoided.
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The most common symptom of a latex allergy is contact dermatitis: The skin that touches the latex breaks out in a red, itchy rash.
Swelling of the area of contact is also common. For example, your lips may swell after blowing up a latex balloon or parts of your body may swell after a doctor exams you while wearing latex gloves.
Although most symptoms are mild, some women develop more severe problems. Shortness of breath, wheezing, hives, anxiety, confusion, fainting and anaphylactic shock are a few of the serious complications. If you experience any of these symptoms, you must seek medical help immediately.
Many women do not put the clues between their symptoms and the latex together. Swelling or itching after a doctor's exam or itching and redness after intercourse using a latex condom are common signs of an allergy. Be aware of your body so you know whether or not you need an alternative material.
For most women, the latex allergy is the biggest problem during sex. Lambskin or polyurethane condoms are available for those sensitive to latex. However, lambskin does not protect against STDs as well as latex, and polyurethane condoms break more easily than latex.
For doctor visits, ask your doctor to wear non-latex gloves or carry your own supply of non-latex gloves.
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