Have you heard that there is a NEW form of birth control and STD protection to choose from? It is great, because it is a barrier contraceptive and not a hormonal contraceptive (does not contain estrogen or progesterone), and is available for women's use and not something we have to negotiate with our partners to use (like the male condom). It is inexpensive and readily accessible. What is it, you ask?
It is called FC2, the new female condom.
Many of you already know about the female condom (first introduced in early 90s, called "Reality"), and now the FC2 is the "second generation" of female condoms and is much improved!
When I worked at a university, and spoke with college students about their safer sex options, the birth control pill and male condom were the most heavily discussed topics (especially as new flavors, scents and textures of condoms were appearing on the mainstream market!). When the students were shown the female condom, there was silence and confusion, as it looked massive (compared to the rolled-up male condom) and intimidating. Plus, the "first generation" female condoms (as they are being labeled now) were more expensive (about $3-4 each). However, the benefit to use the female condom was: it was made out of polyurethane, not latex, so individuals with a latex allergy had another safer sex options available to them. And, perhaps the most priceless benefit of all: women can use the female condom and "take [safer sex] matters in their own hands" with a non-hormonal birth control (and STD protection), all without having to negotiate with their partner to use a male condom.
Last month, the FC2 (the "second-generation" female condom) was approved by the FDA, and is most likely going to only cost around 25 cents each. The great thing about FC2 is that it is less expensive (it is made from synthetic rubber, and not polyurethane, which is cheaper to manufacture), still provides excellent protection with an effectiveness rate of up to 95% (when used consistently and correctly), compared to an effectiveness rate of up to 98% (when used consistently and correctly) for the male condom.
The other benefit to the FC2 compared to the male condom: it covers part of the vulva, which offers more protected area during intercourse. This is one of the downsides of the male condom, as it only covers the penis (some STDs/STIs that are spread from skin-to-skin contact can still be transmitted between partners).
You can read more about the FC2 at EmpowHer News:
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