Condoms Have New Design That Could Help Lower STD Transmission Rates

January 15, 2019
by John Kelly, MD
Condoms Have New Design That Could Help Lower STD Transmission Rates

Condom designs have changed very little in the 50 years since their inception – notwithstanding adding colors and flavors, of course. However, this could change with the help of researchers from Boston University who announced the creation of a self-lubricating condom.

This condom may help to stop unwanted pregnancies and the spread of sexually transmitted infections such as chlamydia, gonorrhea and syphilis.

College of Arts & Sciences chemistry professor Mark Grinstaff said slowing and stopping the spread of STDs like HIV is extremely important. He, along with an interdisciplinary research team, announced the condom’s new design in the Royal Society Open Science journal.

Grinstaff said that was the biggest reason to change the condom’s design.

The condom has yet to be tested but was given a touch test. Individuals were given three kinds of latex – standard with personal lubricant added, standard, non-lubricated and self-lubricated. 85 percent of those who participated felt the material of the new condom and said it slipperier than the other condoms.

Grinstaff said people tend to like that feature. People who don’t like using condoms said they would consider using a self-lubricating condom. About 9 in 10 participants said they would buy the self-lubricating condom of the standard type.

The self-lubricating condom is similar in looks to the latex condom – the improvement comes in how it feels when touching it. Many silicone-based lubricants in condoms tend to repel moisture, are often messy and tacky. However, the new condoms contain polymers that attract bodily fluids and water, trapping them on its surface. In essence, it keeps the condom lubricant and offers a slippery sensation during sexual activity.

With this type of condom, there’s no need to add artificial lubricant in the middle of sex.

Over three years of research and close to 1,000 formulas tested, and Grinstaff and his team came up with the perfect combination of lubricant and latex.


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