All About Lambskin Condoms

Lambskin condoms (also known as natural condoms) are a type of external 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 men using lambskin condoms during the early part of the Roman Empire.

Learn why many people today still use and prefer them.

Condom in opened package

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Effectiveness

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

Lambskin condoms are 98% effective in preventing pregnancy if used correctly every time you have sex. This means that for every 100 people whose partners use lambskin condoms for one year, two will become pregnant.

With incorrect or inconsistent use, the condom's effectiveness drops to 82%. In other words, around 18 in 100 people will get pregnant in a year.

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 where it should be, inside of the condom.

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.

Benefits

While they are less popular and available 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 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 (68 millimeters) wide and 7.9 inches (200 millimeters) long.
  • Unlike other external condoms that can only be used with water-based or silicone-based lubricants, lambskin condoms can also be used with oil-based lubricants (like Vaseline and baby/massage oil).
  • Lambskin condoms are biodegradable.

Disadvantages

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

  • Lambskin condoms tend to be the most expensive external condom to buy. 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 are.
  • Natural lambskin condoms are thought to be not as stretchy as latex condoms.
  • Because lambskin condoms don't offer you protection from STIs or HIV, it's probably a good idea to use these external condoms only if you're in a committed relationship and know that your partner doesn't have any of these infections.
  • Some people say that lambskin condoms don't have a very "attractive" look and are odd-looking as compared to other external condoms.
  • Some people don't like how they smell.

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, and they have a drawstring to hold them in place. 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.

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5 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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