Have you seen the line “gluten-free” on condoms and wanted to know why companies started labeling wellness and hygiene products as such?
As you may already know, a gluten-free lifestyle became embraced over the past few years. Why?
It's mostly due to the increased number of reports of gluten sensitivity among the global population. Let’s see whether that fact should concern your sexual health.
Ingredients in Condoms
Since the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) classifies condoms as medical devices, condom manufacturers do not have to disclose product ingredients. That means if you, by chance, do have a gluten sensitivity, you probably won't know if your favorite brand of condoms contains gluten or not.
Theoretically, there can be any gluten-like substance on the average condom. But how it can affect you and your health?
What Is Gluten?
Gluten is a type of protein found in cereal grains, made of prolamin and glutelin. The grains contain different combinations of gluten and its components. In layman's terms, gluten refers to proteins from wheat, spelled, rye, and barley.
The most popular form of gluten intolerance is celiac disease, an autoimmune disease that destroys the intestines. It reduces the absorption of nutrients in the small intestine, leading to a lack of nutrients in the body.
Another form of gluten intolerance is a wheat allergy, which involves classic symptoms such as skin, respiratory, and gastrointestinal reactions to wheat proteins.
In addition to celiac disease and allergy to wheat, there is a growing problem known as non-celiac gluten sensitivity, which causes autoimmune diseases due to intestinal damage (intestinal permeability). This last one became a hot topic in the wellness and hygiene industry recently since gluten can potentially cause harm to people suffering from gluten sensitivity without ingesting it.
However, we still don’t have much data on the issue since most of the information is self-reported. Whether it is a trend or a real rise in gluten sensitivity, you should always be aware of what you’re putting on and inside of your body.
How Many People Have Celiac-Related Gluten Sensitivity?
As it turns out, not so much: According to the Celiac Disease Center, only about 1% of the population has celiac disease. The estimates vary greatly in terms of how many people developed a sensitivity to gluten without suffering from the disease.
Still, that fact never stopped people from adopting a gluten-free lifestyle. In 2013, nearly 30 percent of Americans said they were gluten-free, according to a Huffington Post Survey.
Moreover, according to a Mayo Clinic survey, the number of celiac diagnoses remained consistent from 2009 to 2014, but the number of people identifying gluten avoidance increased three-fold over that time.
That’s why select condom manufacturers started putting “gluten-free” labels on their products but many didn't! It’s super important to state which ingredients can cause harm to people with sensitive health.
You know your body better than anyone, so if you feel you have developed gluten sensitivity, make sure to check your labels.
I Have a Sensitivity to Gluten. Should I Use Gluten-Free Condoms?
People sensitive to gluten should avoid it altogether. They can potentially experience a chain of uncomfortable reactions. Those reactions are milder than when you ingest gluten and can come in the form of a rash.
Therefore, you’re better off to avoid these substances, which means you should stay away from condoms that contain traces of gluten.
Naturally, most condoms do not contain gluten.
However, some condom brands use lubricants that do contain gluten.
Luckily, once the company is willing to disclose the ingredients of their products, or at least state what they do not contain, you’re safe.
Royal ensures the top quality of their condom line and works to improve what they do continually. If you want to know more about our work ethics and the topics we find relevant, head over to our blog.