How I made it to my mid thirties without ever realizing I had a paraben allergy is beyond me. I recently made this discovery about 3 weeks ago and suddenly so many past experiences started to make sense. Has this ever happened to you? You figure out one small piece of the puzzle and then suddenly everything comes together. Mindblowing. Haha.
Let me back up a little. Before my husband and I got married, we used condoms every time we had sex. And when you’ve been dating for 8+ years…the amount of money we spent on the good ol’ latex makes me cringe. But, you gotta do what you gotta do. We were pretty faithful to the Trojan brand, but I honestly can’t remember what type of Trojan we used. It’s been a while. I also don’t remember having any sort of discomfort or issue when we used them.
Once we got engaged, we made a mutual decision to ditch the rubber since I was on birth control. And, if we happened to get pregnant it definitely wouldn’t be the end of the world. I am 100% for practicing safe sex…but my goodness, once you go “condom-free” you never go back. Things just felt so much better without the barrier. We were condom free for almost a decade. It’s also important to note (for this story) that we never really used lubricants during our entire sexual relationship.
Back to the Condoms
After we had our baby, and wanted to have sex again, we decided the only option we had would be to go back to the condoms. I wasn’t ready to go back on birth control and we were desperate to have sex without risking having another baby right away. For about a month, we used Trojan Bare Skin condoms. We started when I was about 5 weeks postpartum. Sex definitely didn’t feel the same for me at first…and I basically just attributed it to the fact that I was still healing and just had a baby. The best way to describe the feeling down there is that it was just swollen. Swollen so much, that I could literally feel the enlarged area during my day to day activities. Again, because this was our first baby, I just brushed it off thinking it was a side of effect of child birth. I went to the doctor for a check up during this time as well, only to have them tell me everything looked perfect and was healing great. So this further confirmed my thoughts of “healing”.
No Rubber, No Problems
Around the 2 month mark, hubby and I had had enough of the condoms and I made the decision to go back on birth control. One, because condoms are not our favorite thing in the world. And, two, because condoms are expensive. We were mowing through box after box to the point where they were literally on my Sunday grocery shopping list every week. The sweet little cashier at Publix knows a little too much about my sex life now, I’m sure.
Well, about a week after we stopped using the rubber, the swelling and enlarged feeling down there completely went away. Sex felt 100% back to normal. I knew right away that what I had been experiencing was definitely not part of the healing process. I told my husband about my findings and that maybe I had an allergy to the condoms we were using.
We didn’t really think anything of it. And it was sort of “out of sight, out of mind”. That is until we used the Naked Silk lubricant one night. In the heat of the moment, the lube felt awesome! I didn’t notice any odd feelings down there. However, when I woke up the next morning, I was surprised that I felt the exact same way I had when we were using the condoms. I felt swollen and just uncomfortable. I told my man and he immediately pulled out the lube and an old box of Trojans from our bedside drawer. He started comparing ingredients and doing some research.
What we discovered was that the Trojan condoms used a water-based lubricant that included similar parabens as the Naked Silk lubricant. Parabens, in short, are preservatives they put in condoms/lubricants to prevent microbial growth. Parabens can cause allergic reactions or discomfort if you are sensitive to them. Most people can use products with parabens without any issues at all. We both had a pretty big ah-ha moment when we finally connected all the dots.
I definitely had some sort of allergy to parabens. We decided to put this “self diagnosis” to the test and try an all natural lubricant. We selected Sliquid Sea because it is 100% vegan, hypoallergenic, non-toxic, paraben free, glycerin free, and all natural.
Well, we used it generously and the next day I had absolutely zero side effects or discomfort. We actually really loved everything about the Sliquid Sea lubricant. It kept things nice and wet, yet felt really natural. It was also super easy to clean up and was not messy or sticky. The fact that I felt totally normal down there after using it was another big bonus.
So, after this entire debacle, I now know that I should only use paraben free products on my lady parts. I don’t remember ever having an allergy when we used condoms in our much younger years, so I’m not sure if the allergy is something I developed over time or after child birth? The verdict is still out on that one.
I also want to note that it definitely is not because we didn’t like the Naked Silk lubricant. Naked Silk is a great lube that works perfectly for many, many people. This is more so to bring to light that if you feel like something is not right after sex, and you’ve used a condom or a lubricant, you may very well be having an allergy or reaction to an ingredient.
It’s crazy how this whole experience unraveled but I feel so much better knowing what caused my issue and how to prevent it in the future.
Anyone else out there share a similar experience?
*If you want to try a new lubricant, use the code GOODLUBE for 10% off your purchase.*