Could The Female Condom Be Making A Comeback?


One piece of good news: as we approach the end of 2013, we have a more optimistic set of options for contraception than we did at the start of the year.

First there was the announcement that we are relatively close to receiving the male pill, and now it appears that the female condom may be making a comeback.

BBC News carried a story about the progress of the FC2, the next-gen version of the Femidom (FC1) which launched two decades ago. The original Femidom, says the report, may have failed because it was "made of polyurethane, it was a bit noisy during sex, and it was inevitable that comic stories of rustling under the bedclothes would be told and re-told."

Britain is behind other countries, it appears in using the new generation of female condoms that are now made of non-rustling synthetic latex.

"The vast majority of sales are to four customers - the US aid agency (USAID), the UN and the ministries of health in Brazil and South Africa. Donors and public health officials are keen on anything that gives women the upper hand in what they call "condom negotiation" with men."

What are the advantages of the female condom? For a start, it places the control back in the woman's hands or rather, gives both parties equal responsibility rather than hoping the man won't mind using one. They can also be placed inside the vagina hours before having sex, so there's no awkward fumbling.

Even if the FC2 isn't your thing, there are new next-gen condoms in development.

One such company, Origami is departing from latex and using silicone.

Origami's a female condom should be on the market in a year, describe their product as being good to "improve ease of use, improve safety, provide direct tactile sensation, minimize slipping and breaking, and to accommodate a range of penis sizes. It replicates a fluid environment for the penis consistent with natural intercourse performance."

At present in Britain, there needs to be clearer information about the female condom. The FC2 seemed to be unavailable when we conducted a search for it, and this website selling Femidoms made with nitrile (non-rustling synthetic latex seemed to be the main choice.

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