How to choose the best type of glove for your pelvic health practice

How to choose the best type of glove for your pelvic health practice

How to choose the best type of glove for your pelvic health practice

Nitrile, latex and vinyl gloves are the three most popular glove materials on the market today. So what's the difference and what type should you be using? The following blog post will explore these three kinds and help you to make the most suitable choice for your pelvic health practices. 

Latex Gloves

Latex gloves are the most traditional glove, they are made out of rubber and have been used for many years. Generally Latex gloves will be more comfortable, sensitive, and provide better grip, although the modern advances in nitrile glove manufacturing has seen nitrile gloves become more comfortable, thinner, with better dexterity. A concern with latex gloves and the reason why they have been banned in some medical and educational institutions is the common allergic response people have to the latex material. We generally see a skin reaction occur anywhere from immediate exposure up to hours after exposure. In rare instances, a more severe reaction may occur like a life threatening anaphylactic attack. Allergic reactions can increase in severity with repeated exposure which is also a cause for concern. It is worth considering that even if you don’t have an allergy to latex, your client or patient may. We do not carry latex gloves at Pelvic Health Supplies due to the high risk of allergic reaction. 

Nitrile Gloves

Nitrile is a durable, synthetic rubber technically known as acrylonitrile-butadiene rubber and was developed for a number of reasons, namely, due to the issues surrounding common allergies to latex gloves and the lack of protection against solvents that latex offers. The gloves were first introduced in the mid 1990s and were aimed at medical applications but have since become widely popular for a variety of industries.

Nitrile gloves are latex free and have very low allergy rates (less than 1% of users).They are the most popular type of glove used today which is mainly attributed to their versatility (can be used in almost every industry), very low allergy rates, and price. Traditionally, nitrile gloves were much more expensive than latex but with their ever increasing popularity, we have seen prices drop in recent years to the point where they are on par, if not lower priced than latex gloves.

Nitrile has excellent resistance as compared to latex. This is one of the main advantages of a nitrile glove and is important when the user comes into contact with potentially hazardous substances such as human bodily fluid. 

A big advantage of nitrile gloves (often overlooked) is that the material has a tendency to tear when punctured. This is an easy way to recognize that the glove has been compromised. In comparison, a latex glove will remain intact and a small puncture could potentially be overlooked. This is a major advantage of a nitrile glove over a latex glove when dealing with hazardous substances. Please note that it is always important to check your glove for any punctures prior to using it with any hazardous substances. While the Nitrile tear feature is an advantage, it cannot be relied upon as an effective preventative measure.

Vinyl Gloves

Vinyl gloves are also a popular glove but are only used in certain environments. Vinyl gloves are latex-free and are often the cheapest option of the three materials. This type of glove is generally used in a high volume environment when dealing with non-hazardous materials as they offer very minor protection. Vinyl gloves are generally loose fitting and less elastic than a nitrile or latex glove resulting in a glove that does not fit very well and is uncomfortable to wear. As such, you will generally find users are only wearing them for a short period of time (5 minutes or less).

Vinyl gloves have a low resistance to many chemicals and should not be used in any environment where hazardous substances are being handled. Generally, we find vinyl gloves are used in the food and beverage industry and are good for low-risk tasks where the gloves are only used for a short period of time.

Allergic reactions to vinyl gloves are pretty much nonexistent and reports of allergic reactions are rare. While people do complain of an allergic response from wearing vinyl gloves, the problem is actually a skin irritation from lack of ventilation whilst wearing the gloves. The hand will perspire and irritate the skin as the glove traps the heat and perspiration inside the glove.

In recent years, nitrile has become by far the most popular choice of gloves across most industries. Their synthetic material eliminates the common allergy factors found in the latex material and superior resistance is a big advantage to the nitrile.

Due to the contact you will have human bodily fluid we highly recommend you consider using Nitrile gloves over Vinyl gloves for internal pelvic exams in your pelvic health practice.

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