A cheaper and more appealing female condom will be available soon in the U.S., courtesy of Female Health Co., according to Reuters. They are supposed to arrive in Washington D.C. CVS stores in December and be available online, according to an article from Medill Reports. The new female condom will be less noisy and more natural. They will also cost around 82 cents, which is around 30 percent less than the original female condoms.
According to Yolanda Chavez, a community sexuality educator for Planned Parenthood Arizona, the female condoms were created in the early 1990s and usually under $3 per condom. They were and still are not very prevalent among women, and Planned Parenthood doesn’t even have them in stock due to lack of demand.
She said that some couples might find the female condom inconvenient but that they are made of polyurethane, so it is a good option for those who are allergic to latex. However, the updated female condom is made of nitrile, according to Female Health Company’s Web site.
Chavez said that female condoms are also a good option for couples where the man or the woman has the genital herpes virus, since the female condom may offer more protection, as the “condom covers more surface area.” She added that the effectiveness rates haven’t really been done for STDs. However, it can be anywhere from 79 to 95 percent effective against pregnancy, depending on the correct usage. Female condoms can also be used for anal sex, Chavez said.
The main issue with female condoms is they haven’t really been marketed properly.
“There’s quite a few people that have never seen it,” Chavez said.
According to a press release from Female Health Company, the updated female condom was created in order to help women prevent HIV contraction. The female condom helps women have more control in sexual situations.
Patricia Shelton, a peer educator in New York, started educating women about female condoms around 2002.
“My primary job is to educate both males and females on HIV and AIDS…,” Shelton said. This includes teaching prevention techniques, like using female and male condoms.