If you're like me, you make friends easy and have random conversations with strangers in public bathrooms. The first time I heard of the existence of the female condom was back in 2013 in a public restroom in Arizona of all places. One girl exclaimed that she hates wearing condoms because they are uncomfortable, confused, I asked why would wearing a condom be uncomfortable her? *laughter all around* Don't you know they make condoms for girls?
Apparently, the female condom has been around since the 1930's, and according to the Female Condom Market Intelligence, the number of women using condoms has been growing rapidly since 2005 and in 2008, over 34 million female condoms were sold. In 1984, Lasse Hessel, a Danish physician, developed a prototype female condom, which would later evolve into the FC1 condom (pictured below) the condom was designed to perfectly fit the vagina with two rings, one that prevents the condom from being pushed into the vagina and another which, facilitates insertion into the vagina.
The design also a form of contraceptive, it's supposed to prevent the sperm from fertilizing the egg and provides a sort of barrier which sexual fluids cannot penetrate and thus protects against both pregnancy and STIs .
Now for some mostly Q's and fewer A's:
1. Why aren't female condoms being publicized?
Other than Lovability, an organization that sells, distributes, and wants to empower women through the use of the female condom. I haven't heard of other companies, so why don't we publicize and educate on the female condom?
2. How does one wear said condom? I heard they hurt, so are "we" putting them on incorrectly?
I've seen some sources say, wearing the condom is the same as wearing a tampon. I found a site that has step by step (pictures) instructions: http://goo.gl/nqqb8E
3. I know at the Woman Center and the Health Centers at my university male condoms were the only ones available. Do you think that colleges need to start "embracing" the idea of the female condom and start marketing them to college students? And even as young as middle school?
4. What are the Disadvantages?
Some people may not like the female condom because, it may cause irritation, there are times when the condom may slip out (visit link on Q2 for how to), and may reduce the feeling during intercourse.
5. Why are we so afraid to talk about the female body and methods of protection?
One thing I can say about the female condom is that it empowers women to embrace their sexuality , builds positive self-esteem, and take ownership of their sexual health, something that is still a taboo subject. I love the idea of taking ownership of my body and sexual health. Though I'm still relatively new to the female condom world and understand the product isn't for everyone-I do hope the female condom industry and Women Sexual Health will continue to grow and become a norm.
*Note- Please do not use female condom and male condom together, they will break and always dispose of via trash can.*
Thank you to Virtual Medical Center and Female Condom Market Intelligence for their amazing information.
If you have any questions or answers to these questions please leave them in the comment section or email us at [email protected]
Feminist Women’s Health Center at www.feministcenter.org
Planned Parenthood at https://www.plannedparenthood.org/learn/birth-control/female-condom