It’s kind of a no brainer to want your vagina to be free of harmful chemicals. Oddly, this can be harder to accomplish than you’d think. Some condoms sold in the U.S. contain a class of carcinogenic chemicals called nitrosamines. These are decidedly not sexy. In 2010, the World Health Organization and the United Nations Population Fund recommended that manufacturers minimize the presence of nitrosamines. Unfortunately, the condom industry doesn’t seem to have gotten the message. In September 2014, the Reproductive Health Technologies Project (RHTP) released independent test results of latex condoms sold in the United States. Only two major brands were free of detectable nitrosamines across their entire product line! Sustain is supremely proud to be one of those brands.
Condoms can also contain a whole host of other vagina unfriendly chemicals, including irritating fragrances, odor masking agents, flavors, and spermicides—none of which are necessary to make an effective condom. So we don’t use any of them.
If you’re using that condom with a lubricant, good for you—or is it? Lube can increase pleasure, minimize condom breakage, and even reduce the risk of STIs—all totally amazing. But conventional lubricants can contain potentially harmful and/or irritating ingredients like propylene glycol, paraben preservatives, fragrance, and polyethylene glycol. Petrochemical-free lubricant with organic ingredients on the other hand, like, oh, the kind we make? That’s awesome. So are our pads and tampons (made with unbleached organic cotton and without synthetic fibers or fragrance) and our body washes and oils (they contain organic ingredients which are mild enough that they won’t mess with all-important vaginal PH or make you itchy). Did you know your vagina has a PH level where all is good and great? (If you’re a numbers person, it’s around 3.5 to 4.5 and PH is measured on a scale of zero to 14.) If you mess with that, bad stuff can happen, including infections.
Why all the fuss about the chemicals in products which, besides pads and tampons, we may only use for a few minutes a day a few times a week? Because in a modern world filled with hazardous toxins and pollutants, every exposure counts. And staying healthy means reducing or preventing every possible contact with every potential toxin every chance we can get. Your vagina is worth it.
Oh and P.S.: None of the above should ever stop anyone from using a condom—any condom—in the heat of the moment. Ever. Any condom is far preferable to no condom. So #wrapitup.