Back in March 2013, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation released its Grand Challenges in Global Health. It was a call for proposals regarding the development of more appealing, pleasurable, and user-friendly condoms, according to the U.S. National Institutes of Health's National Library of Medicine.
A donation of $100,000 was contributed to 11 groups of inventors in the hopes of creating a new generation of prophylactic devices.
These new developments in condoms should shield wearers from disease and unplanned pregnancy. They should also create a condom that “significantly preserves or enhances pleasure, in order to improve uptake and regular use,” stated AskMen.com.
This was an integral part of the Gates Foundation’s challenge to these inventors.
Good news for women. One development that has come from this challenge is a renewed focus on women’s pleasure in the form of a female condom.
The foundation said that female condoms “can be an effective method for prevention of unplanned pregnancy or HIV infection, but suffer from some of the same liabilities as male condoms, require proper insertion training and are substantially more expensive than their male counterparts. While negotiating use of female condoms may be easier than male condoms, this need for negotiation precisely illustrates the barrier preventing greater use that we seek to address through this call,” as reported by RT.com.
Two of the grant recipients are designing condoms specifically for women.
The Air-Infused Female Condom is designed by Mache Seibel of HealthRock, LLC. It is made from polyurethane to minimize sound. Air pressure is used to inflate and position the condom. It is designed for quicker insertion and to enhance sensation for both partners, RT.com said.
The Female Pleasure Condom was created by a group of researchers at Indiana University. They are using the Foundation funds to develop and test IU’s design, which reflects the female anatomy and promises easier and more comfortable use, AskMen.com said.
IU researchers Debby Herbenick and Frank Sadlo say that their Female Pleasure Condom will enhance sexual experience.