Frequently Asked Questions
Choosing the right condom
How to choose the right condom size
The ‘one-size-fits-all’ approach to condom sizing can often result in unsatisfying, and less-than-safe sexual experiences. The sizing issue also has a tendency of perpetuating negative stigmas around sensitivity during sex, and overall sexual satisfaction.
Wearing the wrong size shoe is uncomfortable, but that doesn’t mean we all go barefoot, right? The same goes for condoms. With the correct size, a premium condom like UNION will fit like a glove...no ifs, ands, or butts.
Tailored for comfort and reliability, UNION has you covered:
STANDARD is our medium condom made to fit most men at 54mm wide / length 180mm
MAX is a TRUE extra large (the largest condom on the U.S. market) at 60mm wide / length 190mm
SNUG is a tighter, slimmer fitting condom with a 49mm width / length 180mm
Condom Measurement Guide
Figuring out the right size condom is easy and quick. All you need is a piece of string, a ruler or a flexible measuring tape, and an erect penis.
How to measure your penis for a condom:
Step 1: Getting started
In order to accurately measure penis size, you must have an erect penis (since penis size when flaccid is not an accurate measurement).
Step 2: Measure penis length
Start by measuring the length of your penis with the ruler or flexible measuring tape. Position the ruler or measuring tape at the base of the penis (make sure to press into the pubic bone as far as you can because flesh can actually hide the length of your penis, aka "turtling"). Measure your penis length by marking how long it is from the base all the way to the tip. Write down this number and label it “penis length”.
Step 3: Measure Penis Girth
Now you will be measuring around your penis, basically figuring out its circumference/thickness, or girth. For this step, you need to use a piece of string or a soft measuring tape. Gently wrap the string one time around the thickest part of the shaft/body of your erect penis. Mark where the string meets and then measure the distance with a ruler. You could also do the same thing with the soft measuring tape, and just mark the measurement once you reach around the penis. Write down this number and label it “penis girth”.
You can determine penis width or diameter by dividing the girth measurement by 3.14.
4. Compare Your Size
Now you have a good idea of your penis size. Next, you'll compare your penis size with the average penis size. Typically, the average erect penis has a length of approximately 5.5 to 6.3 inches (139.7 to 160.02 mm) and has a girth ranging between 4.5 to 5.1 inches (114.3 to 129.54 mm). The average diameter (penis width) would equal roughly 1.4-1.6 inches (35.56 to 40.64 mm). If your penis measurements are close to these averages, then a standard size condom should provide you with the most accurate fit. Keep in mind that a condom should completely cover your penis and have some space at the tip to catch the ejaculate.
- It may be best to use condom width when comparing condom sizes. As a general guide, condoms with a width of 1.75 to 2 inches (44.45 to 50.8 mm) are typically considered standard, while those under 1.75 inches are categorized as snug and condoms over 2 inches are considered large.
- Going by length may be confusing because different condom manufactures use slightly different measurements, so what one manufacturer calls large may actually be standard for another. Because of this, standard condoms may have a length between 7.25 to 7.8 inches (184.15 to 198.12 mm); snug condoms may have a length of 7 to 7.8 (177.8 to 198.12 mm); large condoms length ranges from 7.25 to 8.1 inches (184.15 to 205.74 mm).
Ref: Dawn, Stacey M.Ed,LMHC (Updated August 24,2011) How to Measure Penis Size, Retrieved May 15,2013 from www.About.com
What makes union condoms a healthy and sustainable choice?
All of our condoms are free of harsh chemicals and toxins that are often used in other barrier contraceptives, including fragrances and spermicide. We engineer our condoms using natural rubber latex, sourced from a local rubber plantation that uses sustainable growing and harvesting methods. Every condom we make is manufactured in an ISO-certified factory that specifically produces condoms and medical devices.
Our sustainable practices ensure that the team who grows and manufactures our latex are paid a living wage – and no child labor, ever. Sustainable also means that the rubber we grow and manufacture is gentler on the earth.
Our minimal-ingredient condom formula has a reduced latex protein level, which can reduce the possibility of allergic reaction for sensitive individuals. Our ‘double washing’ process eliminates any residue on the final product, and our ‘double dipping’ technology delivers an extra strong but thin condom that exceeds durability standards.
UNION condoms are triple tested – including electronically – to ensure quality and safety. We are also made ethically, Fair Trade and Vegan Certified.
What does it mean to be vegan?
UNION condoms are made with natural rubber latex, but unlike many conventional brands we leave out a dairy-derived powder called casein in our latex formula.
What does it mean to be non-toxic and nitrosamine-free?
We have eliminated the addition of any chemicals of concern with a manufacturing process to prevent the formation of nitrosamines, which are naturally occurring when an organic material/substance (liquid rubber latex) is heated to the point at which it becomes solid, and then an accelerator is added to the mix to speed up the process. We’ve employed a manufacturing process ensuring that there are no detectable levels of nitrosamines in UNION condoms.
Does UNION use organic lubricant on the condoms?
We would love to use organic lubricant but there are a couple of reasons we don’t.
First, organic lubricant has a shorter shelf life than medical-grade silicone, so using it would also limit the shelf life of the condoms – which is up to five years, when stored correctly.
Second, as of now, the regulatory bodies who control condom production (World Health Organization, ISO, FDA and CE) will only approve condoms made with silicone lubricant. Therefore, we use a body-friendly, non-toxic, paraben-free and glycerin-free medical grade silicone that’s sparingly applied to preserve latex suppleness and prevent the material from sticking to itself.
Why use extra lubricant with UNION?
UNION condoms are coated with a small amount of silicone lubricant to preserve the rubber latex, and to make it easier to unroll the condom. It is not meant as a substitute for using additional lubricant. To enhance enjoyment, we recommend adding a few drops of your favorite water-based, silicone-water hybrid, or silicone lubricant – on the inside and outside of the condom. Please avoid using coconut oil or other oils from your kitchen.
Do UNION condoms contain GMO ingredients?
No. UNION condoms do not contain GMO natural rubber latex. However, we do not display a non-GMO certified badge on our packaging or website.
We do not have a "non-GMO certified" badge on our packaging or website because the cost of investment does not feel necessary to us for a non-issue to our brand.
We have conducted thorough research on the topic by consulting with our suppliers, rubber industry experts, and organizations involved in rubber crop sustainability.
Here is their answer: They have never heard of a condom brand, worldwide, that contains GMO rubber.
As of now, most of the world’s rubber suppliers (including ours) are engaged in progressive sustainability programs. Rubber producers supply condom companies in addition to mainstream industries including tire, automotive parts, toys, and medical device manufacturers to name a few.
All major suppliers work closely with global rubber associations, sustainability and labor experts, and various government agencies to implement best farming practices and environmental integrity.
If GMO rubber ever becomes an issue with product manufacturing, you can rest assured that UNION condoms will never, ever contain it.
As a woman-owned company, we care about your wellness as we do our own. Designed for your health and pleasure, our products do not contain harmful additives or risky chemicals including Benzocaine, Nonoxynol-9, or parabens.
With a silky texture and lightly applied, our lubricant is a premium medical-grade silicone formula that is paraben-free and glycerin-free..
In one step of our manufacturing process, we use cornstarch instead of talc (a known carcinogen) and we double wash each condom to eliminate any residue, latex taste or odor.
Do UNION condoms contain parabens or glycerine?
No, UNION condoms and the lubricant we use do not contain parabens or glycerin.
With good reason, many people worry about parabens found in common personal care product preservatives because tests find they may be linked to breast cancer and fertility issues. They’re also concerned about the safety of glycerin, which is a common ingredient in personal lubricants that can damage or irritate vaginal and rectal epithelial cells, and potentially increase the transmission of STIs such as herpes and HIV.
That said - parabens can be present in spermicidal agents, but UNION condoms do not contain spermicide.
What ingredients are used in your manufacturing process?
In accordance with WHO, ISO, FDA and CE safety and manufacturing requirements our condoms are made by mixing various chemicals with our natural rubber latex. The chemicals used initiate a process called vulcanization (heating the rubber at a high temperature) that is essential to develop the required mechanical properties of the final product. A few of the chemicals listed below will be left in the condom at very low levels but most will be eliminated during the manufacturing process. None of these ingredients pose any health risk or concern. Additionally, we double wash our condoms to eliminate any residues. The chemicals used include: Non-GMO natural rubber latex, Ammonia, Potassium Oleate, Potassium Hydroxide, Emulgin B2 / Vulcastab LW, Vultamol, Sulphur, Zinc Oxide, Irganox 1330 Bentonite Clay, Zinc dibutyl dithiocarbamate, Silicone lubricant, Calcium carbonate and magnesium carbonate and oat powders.
Use & Safety
What is the advantage of a flared head versus a straight shaft?
Many penis-owners complain of tightness or restriction that comes from using straight-shaft condoms. UNION’s STANDARD and MAX have a mindfully-engineered flared head that eliminates this problem, offering more “room to breathe” and enhanced sensation.
How are union condoms tested for safety?
Condoms are Class II medical devices and the materials and methods with which they are made are subject to rigorous regulatory controls including ISO manufacturing requirements (also set by the World Health Organization) and FDA and CE approvals.
Our condoms are tested multiple times for quality assurance – including measuring elasticity and material uniformity, electronic strength/burst testing, and examination for holes or punctures.
Prior to distribution, our products are regularly tested again by independent third-party laboratories to ensure they meet performance standards.
What do the numbers stamped on the foil mean?
These are production Lot Numbers and expiration dates. UNION condoms have a shelf life of at least 3 years when stored out of extreme temperatures, specifically direct sunlight and heat.
Where are UNION condoms made?
Our condoms are made at a world-class ISO certified facility known for its highly skilled staff and exceptional production standards. In the condom world, Thailand condom facilities are recognized for delivering the highest quality products made in accordance with GMP (Good Manufacturing Practices) standards.
UNION condoms are FDA approved.
Are condoms reusable?
Never. Condoms should be used only once and then discarded. Opt for the trash can and not the toilet to avoid blocking the pipes.
Treat your condoms well – they’re actually pretty sensitive. Condoms are vulnerable to deterioration caused by heat and should never be stored in heat-conducting places like wallets, hot glove compartments, or in a places with prolonged exposure to sunlight.
To avoid damage, don’t carry condoms loosely in a purse or backpack – instead opt for a tin (a recycled mint tin will do) or a hard condom case.
Before using a condom always check the expiration date, and then give the wrapper a thorough inspection for rips or punctures.
Key principals for safer sex
STI (Sexually Transmissible Infections) are passed on through sexual contact or the exchange of body fluids. Male latex male condoms, sheer dams or female condoms are both very effective in preventing HIV and many other Sexually Transmitted Infections when used correctly, and every time.
Other than abstinence, the regular use of latex condoms offers the best protection against contracting the AIDS virus and other sexually transmitted diseases, including gonorrhea, HPV, genital herpes, chlamydia, syphilis and hepatitis-B. However, condoms are not guaranteed effective in preventing transmission of genital herpes unless the affected area is completely covered.
To find out if you might have an STI, regular health exams and testing is recommended. If you suspect that you have been exposed to an STI, visit your doctor immediately.
Does using a condom ensure I will not get an STI?
No. Consistent and correct use of the male latex condom reduces the risk of sexually transmitted disease (STD) and human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) transmission. However, condom use cannot provide absolute protection against any STD. The most reliable ways to avoid transmission of STDs are to abstain from sexual activity, or to be in a long-term mutually monogamous relationship with an
uninfected partner. However, many infected persons may be unaware of their infection because STDs often are asymptomatic and unrecognized.
In other words, sex with condoms isn’t totally “safe sex,” but it is “less risky” sex. The body of research on the effectiveness of latex condoms in preventing sexual transmission of HIV is both comprehensive and conclusive. The ability of latex condoms to prevent transmission of HIV has been scientifically established in “real-life” studies of sexually active couples as well as in laboratory studies. We always recommend using a condom correctly and every time you have intercourse and engaging in routine STD testing if you are worried about STD transmission or becoming pregnant.