If you are a sexually-active adult, then chances are you use condoms. If you also happen to be vegan, then you might be surprised to learn that not all condoms are vegan. Even if you aren’t vegan, there are still a lot of reasons why you might want to ditch your current brand of condoms and switch to vegan condoms instead.
Wait, Condoms Aren’t Vegan?!?!
Most condoms are made from latex. In order to make latex smooth (as you’d want it to be with a condom!), most manufacturers use casein – a milk derivative — in the latex manufacturing process. Not only is this an issue for vegans, but a problem for the millions of people with casein or milk allergies.
Ladies, You Should Probably Ditch Standard Condoms Anyway
Aside for the vegan moral issue of using condoms which contain casein, there are a lot of reasons why ladies might want to ditch their popular name-brand condoms for vegan condoms. Most condoms on the market today are made with spermicidal lubricant which contains nonoxynol-9, which can cause skin irritation to the vulva, vagina and penis, and vaginal epithelial disruption. In fact, WHO reports that researchers have found that nonoxynol-9 condoms offer no better protection and, because of the potential health risks, that nonoxynol-9 condoms should no longer be promoted.
If you have a problem with yeast infections, then your condoms may be to blame. The nonoxynol-9 in the spermicidal lubricant cause vaginal tearing, which in turn allows harmful bacteria to enter. Further, many condoms contain glycerin, which the body treats like a sugar. Yeast feeds on the glycerin, allowing it to flourish.
Many condoms also contain parabens, which are used to help preserve and lubricate the condoms. Parabens act like estrogen are linked to health problems including breast cancer and hormone disruption.
Keep in mind that vaginal tissue is much more absorbent than our skin. As Environmental Health Perspectives reports:
Because mucous membranes in the vagina and vulva rapidly absorb chemicals without metabolizing them, researchers have even explored the possibility of delivering drugs vaginally. One study found that vaginal application of estradiol, a synthetic estrogen, resulted in blood serum levels 10 times higher than those following oral dosing. But while rapid absorption works well when a patient needs a drug delivered rapidly, it may also expose women to higher levels of chemicals from feminine hygiene products than manufacturers intend.
Healthy, Vegan Condoms
Don’t worry – you can still have safe sex! There are plenty of brands of vegan condoms available, including these brands of vegan condoms without parabens, harmful spermicidal lubricants, and glycerin. Some of these vegan condoms are even available in drugstores!
Sir Richard’s Company Condoms
You can feel good about buying these vegan condoms. For each condom bought, one is donated to a community in need. And, of course, there aren’t any harmful ingredients like parabens, glycerine, or nonoxynol-9. Available at CVS, Kroger Stores, and Whole Foods Market. Online, they cost about $9 for a 12 pack.
L. Condoms are vegan and free of glycerin and parabens and made from high-grade natural latex. They do have lubricant on them, but it is “female friendly” and free of nonoxynol-9. For each L. Condom you buy, one is donated to a developing country. L. condoms cost about $15 for a 12 pack.
This brand is of condoms is vegan, and free of parabens, glycerin, and spermicide. You can find them at Walmart, Walgreens, Kmart, and Whole Foods Market. Online, they cost about $8 for a 12 pack.
There are no parabens, glycerin, or harmful chemicals in these vegan condoms. This is one of the few vegan condom companies which makes organic flavored condoms (they have some interesting flavors too, like licorice and wild berry). They also have un-flavored condoms too. Unfortunately, Glyde condoms aren’t available in many stores so you’ll want to buy online. Glyde condoms cost about $14 for a 12 pack.
This brand of vegan condoms advertises itself as the thinnest and stronger condom in the world. They are made with At-10, which is a synthetic polyethylene resin that is 3x stronger than latex. These condoms also have a “pull strip” which lets you put the condom on without touching it. I haven’t tried these condoms, but apparently it makes putting the condom on much easier. Unique condoms are supposed to be so thin that you can’t even feel them on you. A downside about these condoms is that they should only go on a dry penis (they seal to a dry penis), so I guess no oral sex first…
Other Brands of Vegan Condoms
If you can’t find any of these brands of healthy, vegan condoms, then look for non-latex condoms (obviously not lambskin condoms). Since they aren’t made of latex, then casein probably wasn’t used to manufacture them and they are probably vegan. (I say probably because you never know what other weird animal-based additives they might be putting in their condoms!).
Lifestyles SKYN and Durex Avanti Bare RealFeel, and are the most common accidentally-vegan condoms you will find in stores. But, do be warned that they still contain some female unfriendly ingredients, so they aren’t exactly the best choice for your body or your partner’s body.
European Vegan Condoms:
Two vegan condom in Europe that I know about are RFSU and Condomi. You can also find Glyde condoms in many parts of Europe.