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U.S. Department of Health and Human Services

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Research Project: Compatibility of Personal Lubricants and Latex Condoms

Personal lubricants and latex condoms are often used together, but there is no standard test method for determining their compatibility. An incompatible personal lubricant could cause condom failure that might result in transmission of sexually transmitted diseases or unwanted pregnancies. DSFM researchers developed a protocol for evaluating effects of lubricants on latex condoms utilizing airburst and tensile ring testing. The protocol was incorporated into an ASTM International interlaboratory study, led by DSFM, and conducted at FDA and eight other laboratories (2 domestic, 6 foreign). Data from all participating labs were presented to the ASTM D11.40.01 Condom Task Group and will be incorporated into a new standard test method for determining the compatibility of personal lubricants with latex condoms.