A team of US scientists say they’ve created a self lubricating condom that they hope will increase the rates of safe sex.
The scientists at Boston University have developed a compound that can be applied to the latex of a condom that also holds a thin layer of water.
They used it to create a latex condom that stays dry until it’s touched with a few drops of water or bodily fluids.
The condom then becomes slippery, and holds that slippery texture for longer than a condom coated in regular lubricants, the researchers said.
The compound kept the condom lubed for 1,000 back-and-forth cycles, the team reported in the journal Royal Society Open Science.
“We had this idea that if one could take a latex condom, put a coating on it and in the presence of water that condom would become slippery, maybe we would have a self-lubricating condom,” Grinstaff told NBC News.
The team had 33 people touch the self lubricating condom after water had been applied and 85% agreed it was better than a normal condom.
Seventy-three per cent said they’d prefer to use condoms made of the new material.
“Those individuals who don’t regularly use a condom because it is uncomfortable or because they don’t like it say they would be likely to use a product like this,” Grinstaff said.
The scientists conducted their research with funding from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.
The Foundation invests in HIV research and prevention initiatives and had put a call out for ideas to encourage condom use.
Common condom mistakes
Sexual health experts say oil-based products, including some hand creams, can damage latex condoms so it’s important to avoid them.
Use silicone or water-based lubricants with condoms instead.
Always check the condom’s expiry date, and make sure the condom has no tears or defects.
Be careful how you store condoms because they can easily get damaged, especially if they’ve been kept in a wallet, pocket, or bag.
When you put a condom on, it’s important to squeeze the tip, to get rid of any air. If you don’t, the condom is likely to break.