Penile reconstruction surgeries, such as phalloplasty and metoidioplasty, do not inherently affect an individual’s ability to use condoms or other forms of contraception. However, there are some important considerations related to sexual health and contraception that individuals should be aware of after undergoing these surgeries:
- Condom Use: Condoms are a common form of barrier contraception that can be used to prevent sexually transmitted infections (STIs) and unintended pregnancies. The ability to use condoms after penile reconstruction will generally depend on the individual’s specific surgical outcome.
- Phalloplasty: After phalloplasty, individuals may use external condoms (often referred to as “male condoms”) on their neophallus for protection during sexual activity. Some individuals may need to use smaller or larger condom sizes based on the size and girth of their neophallus.
- Metoidioplasty: After metoidioplasty, individuals may also use external condoms on their neophallus, although the size and fit may vary depending on the extent of genital growth achieved through testosterone therapy.
- Contraception for Penetrative Sexual Activities: For individuals engaging in penetrative sexual activities with a partner who can become pregnant, additional contraception methods may be needed to prevent unintended pregnancies. Options include hormonal birth control methods (e.g., oral contraceptives, intrauterine devices, injections) and emergency contraception. The choice of contraception should be discussed with a healthcare provider.
- STI Prevention: While condoms can help prevent the transmission of STIs, it’s important to maintain regular sexual health check-ups, practice safe sex, and discuss STI prevention strategies with healthcare providers.
- Communication: Open communication with sexual partners about contraception and sexual health is essential. Discussing preferences and ensuring that both partners are informed and comfortable with chosen methods is important for a healthy sexual relationship.
- Lubrication: Adequate lubrication during sexual activity is important for comfort and reducing the risk of friction-related injuries. Water-based or silicone-based lubricants can be used with condoms. However, oil-based lubricants (e.g., petroleum jelly) should be avoided with latex condoms, as they can weaken the material and increase the risk of breakage.
- Consultation with Healthcare Providers: If individuals have specific concerns or questions about contraception after penile reconstruction, they should consult with their healthcare providers, including those specializing in transgender care and sexual health.