What to Know About Lambskin Condoms

Lambskin condoms, which are also known as natural condoms, are a type of external condom that is worn over the penis. Lambskin condoms protect against pregnancy by keeping sperm within the condom.

They are made from the intestinal membrane of a lamb, so these external condoms are truly a natural animal product. Lambskin condoms are the oldest type of all external condoms. There are records of individuals using lambskin condoms during the early part of the Roman Empire.

This article discusses the effectiveness, benefits, and disadvantages of lambskin condoms.

Condom in opened package

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Lambskin Condom Effectiveness

Like latex condoms, lambskin condoms are 98% effective in preventing pregnancy if used correctly every time you have sex. This means that for every 100 people who use lambskin condoms for one year, two will become pregnant. With typical use, the condom’s effectiveness drops to 87%.

Lambskin condoms are approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) as an effective means of preventing pregnancy and are just as effective for contraception as other types of external and internal condoms.

Even though lambskin condoms have tiny pores, they are too small for sperm to pass through. Like all external and internal condoms, they keep sperm inside of the condom.

Do lambskin condoms protect against STIs?

Unlike other external and internal condoms, lambskin condoms are not effective in preventing sexually transmitted infections (STIs) as the natural pores in them are large enough for bacteria, like gonorrhea, and viruses, like HIV, to pass through.

Are Lambskin Condoms Better?

While they are less popular in the United States, there are benefits of using lambskin condoms:

  • Lambskin condoms seem to have a more natural feel (even more so than polyurethane and polyisoprene condoms) and a thinner texture than other external condom types, offering an intimate sensation, close to not wearing any external or internal condom.
  • These external condoms are a great option if you or your partner are allergic to latex. They also are reported to cause less irritation.
  • Lambskin condoms transmit body heat better than latex condoms, adding an even greater sensation during sexual intercourse.
  • Trojan Naturalamb external condoms are one of the largest condoms available. Made with a cling-tight drawstring at the base of the external condom for added safety, they measure 2.7 inches wide and 6.5 to 8.5 inches long.
  • Unlike other external condoms, which can only be used with water-based or silicone-based lubricants, lambskin condoms aren’t damaged by petroleum jelly or oil-based lubricants. However, petroleum jelly or oil-based lubricants are not recommended for use in penetrative sex because they increase the risk of some infections such as bacterial vaginosis.
  • Lambskin condoms are biodegradable.


Despite these advantages, there are a number of reasons why lambskin condoms may not be right for you:

  • Lambskin condoms tend to be the most expensive external condoms to buy. The price of lambskin condoms can be twice the per condom—or even higher—compared to non-lambskin options. This is most likely because they’re made from an animal product, so lambskin condoms cannot be mass-produced in the same way that latex condoms can be.
  • Natural lambskin condoms are thought to be not as stretchy as latex condoms.
  • Because lambskin condoms don’t offer you protection from STIs, it’s probably a good idea to use these external condoms only if you’re in a committed relationship and/or know that your partner doesn’t have any of these infections.
  • Some people say that lambskin condoms don’t have a very “attractive” appearance and are odd-looking as compared to other external condoms.
  • Some people don’t like how they smell.


Lambskin condoms are a type of external condom that protect against pregnancy by keeping sperm within the condom. They are just as effective as other internal and external condoms in terms of pregnancy prevention.

Lambskin condoms have advantages and disadvantages. They tend to be thinner and have a more natural feel compared to non-lambskin condoms and are a good choice for those who are allergic to latex. However, lambskin condoms tend to be more expensive than other condoms and they don’t protect against STIs.

Frequently Asked Questions

  • Do lambskin condoms look different than other types?

    A bit. They sometimes seem wider than other types of external condoms before being used because they aren’t as stretchy. Otherwise, natural external condoms look like latex and plastic ones.

  • Are lambskin condoms more likely to slip or tear than latex or plastic ones?

    Probably not. The incidence of this happening with any type of external condom is low. By most estimates, it happens only around 2% of the time, usually because the external condom hasn’t been stored or used properly.

  • Are there internal condoms made from lambskin?

    No. Internal condoms are made of either polyurethane or nitrile.

6 Sources
Verywell Health uses only high-quality sources, including peer-reviewed studies, to support the facts within our articles. Read our editorial process to learn more about how we fact-check and keep our content accurate, reliable, and trustworthy.
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  4. Brown JM, Hess KL, Brown S, Murphy C, Waldman AL, Hezareh M. Intravaginal practices and risk of bacterial vaginosis and candidiasis infection among a cohort of women in the United States. Obstet Gynecol. 2013;121(4):773-780. doi:10.1097/AOG.0b013e31828786f8

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By Dawn Stacey, PhD, LMHC
Dawn Stacey, PhD, LMHC, is a published author, college professor, and mental health consultant with over 15 years of counseling experience.