Would You Use a Female Condom?
Safe sex is an important part of any relationship. But while women know that one of the best ways to protect themselves from STDs and unwanted pregnancy is to use a condom, there aren’t many products that put control into our hands. (Anyone who’s ever slept with, talked to, or met a man knows they can’t always be relied on to want to wrap it up.)
Could better female condoms be the solution to our problems?
According to Debby Herbenick, an Indiana University researcher, “female condoms are really in their infancy. There are very few designs. Current condoms are big and baggy and really don’t match a female’s anatomy.”
In fact, female condoms comprise less than 1% of the world’s condom production. Herbenick and fellow researcher Frank Sadlo are hoping to change that. With money from a grant from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, they are in the process of creating a new female condom. Their design will have a more elliptical shape, instead of the tradition round shape being produced today. They hope this new design will make the condom a more natural fit in the female body.
Before this, Gates Foundation-funded sexual health research has focused on male condoms, but the new initiative looks to give more power to women who want to take control of their health. The 18-month grant given to Indiana University is one of 55 projects in 12 countries aimed at improving health worldwide.
“Many men just refuse to use condoms, so if a woman’s partner refuses to use a condom or complains about a condom, she can say I’ll use one,” Herbenick said. “It provides a female-initiated or a female-controlled option.”
Once the design is finalized, a prototype will be made, and the product will be given to couples in India for testing. Fingers crossed it finds its way to the USA soon after.
xx, The FabFitFun Team
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