Female condoms actually sort of rock

The new blog Akimbo of the International Women’s Health Coalition has a great post and video up about how despite female condom’s bad rep, they’re getting great feedback from the countries that IWHC works in.
(This is not to mention the FDA’s recent announcement of the approval of the new female condom, FC2, which is a thinner material and hella cheaper.)
Check it.

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19 Comments

  1. afb1221
    Posted March 13, 2009 at 4:36 pm | Permalink

    I had always thought that female condoms seemed ridiculous, but I tried one the other day and I actually quite liked it. And I’m so glad to hear that there are better and cheaper ones coming!

  2. afb1221
    Posted March 13, 2009 at 4:39 pm | Permalink

    oh and also, a sex education organization that I volunteered for called them “insertive condoms” because they can be used for anal sex by men or women as all (not that I think it is bad to emphasize the specific benefit they can offer to women, just that the usefulness can go beyond that)

  3. afb1221
    Posted March 13, 2009 at 4:40 pm | Permalink

    (but the inner ring must be removed and discarded for anal sex, just FYI)

  4. MPetrelis
    Posted March 13, 2009 at 5:06 pm | Permalink

    News flash! Gay man engage in anal sex and need devices to ensure HIV and STDs are not transmitted during such sex, but Gay Inc and AIDS Inc remain silent about Reality:
    http://mpetrelis.blogspot.com/2009/03/anal-condom-is-no-pain-in-ass-fda.html

  5. FrumiousB
    Posted March 13, 2009 at 5:54 pm | Permalink

    How do you get it up there without the ring? For that matter, how would you get the ring up there? There’s not quite as much room for maneuvering in that passage.

  6. jjgirl23
    Posted March 13, 2009 at 6:10 pm | Permalink

    They told us at school that female condoms weren’t as safe as the regular ones because the ppenis could slip up the side outside of the condom..?

  7. AwakenedDesires
    Posted March 13, 2009 at 6:14 pm | Permalink

    I’ve never used one, but I think it is really handy that you can put one in a few hours before you might need it.

  8. afb1221
    Posted March 13, 2009 at 6:33 pm | Permalink

    I think that may have been referring to the risk that the penis would be inserted between the condom and the body, instead of inside the condom, so care just needs to be taken at that point

  9. Posted March 13, 2009 at 7:40 pm | Permalink

    I’m living in Costa Rica, and you cannot find female condoms (or the cream that’s used with them) here at all. I would REALLY like to start a program here to provide some access to condoms for women. Is there anyway I could get contact info for a Latin American branch of these organizations? Thank you!
    p.s. this is my first time commenting on Feministing but I’ve been a(n obsessive) reader for almost a year. Thanks for all your hard work ladies!

  10. Rachel
    Posted March 13, 2009 at 7:45 pm | Permalink

    Ok, to specify IWHC only has programs in Brazil and Peru (and some sister programs–the vast majority of which are in South America), but I’m wondering if anyone knows about a program in Central America or Costa Rica specifically??

  11. rampart
    Posted March 13, 2009 at 9:12 pm | Permalink

    President Obama’s new White House Council on women must take this up as an issue to prevent the spread of HIV/AIDS among women – particularly minority women in the south. http://thenewagenda.net/2009/03/07/women-of-the-living-quilt-%E2%80%93-powerful-antidotes-in-the-fight-against-hivaids/

  12. Ivy
    Posted March 13, 2009 at 9:21 pm | Permalink

    I’ll admit, I don’t really how to use a female condom *blushes*

  13. audaciaray.myopenid.com
    Posted March 14, 2009 at 9:03 am | Permalink

    The IWHC Latin America program team is in Mexico for a feminist conference at the moment, but if you drop me a line at aray@iwhc.org (and have a little patience), I can ask them about female condom distro programs throughout Central and South America and see what they know.

  14. T-Monster
    Posted March 15, 2009 at 1:45 am | Permalink

    *Question*
    That may turn into a tangent.
    I am in a heterosexual monogamous relationship. For myself I have not used the female condom because the label does not indicate as high a rating for preventing pregnancy. As far as what I’ve seen it’s rated 80% to 95% effective in preventing pregnancy. Male condoms rate at about 99+%.
    Are there better resources that expand on their effectiveness regarding pregnancy because it really is the only reason I have no tried them? Oral contraceptives, as well as the patch and the shot are not options for me (too long to explain, but ugh).
    As far as my tangent goes, I have a friend who was recently diagnosed with HIV, and while my partner and I have been tested and are monogamous, this is still a vital issue as the post and many commentors have noted. I guess I’m just mentioning it because of how sad I am over the situation, and how prevalent HIV is all over the world.

  15. Eresbel
    Posted March 15, 2009 at 9:13 am | Permalink

    Sometimes I worry that, as feminists, people get too caught up in marketing “female” condoms simply because they’re FEMALE condoms, even though statistics show that they’re not as effective as “male” condoms.
    I think T-Monster brings up a good point about health concerns, i.e. pregnancy. I’m interested in exploring this tangent.

  16. GrowingViolet
    Posted March 15, 2009 at 10:59 am | Permalink

    I agree – according to the Guttmacher Institute (scroll down), female condoms are 95% effective with perfect use and 73% effective with typical use, versus 98% and 82.6% for male condoms. They’re still a good option for women who don’t have access to other contraception/STI prevention, but I’m very cautious about endorsing them where it’s possible to negotiate and secure male condom use.

  17. MomTFH
    Posted March 15, 2009 at 11:16 pm | Permalink

    Where did you read that male condoms prevent pregnancy with 99% + success rate? I looked it up at the Feminist Women’s Health Center and the FDA, and both rate male condoms with an actual failure rate of about 14%.
    Yes, the female condom has a higher rate, but take it from me and my condom baby, I am much happier with the effectiveness of my copper IUD, which actually is above 99%.

  18. Posted March 15, 2009 at 11:17 pm | Permalink

    I work with a physician who treats many women who are HIV positive, and she gives out a lot of female condoms. She has many patients who use them and appreciate them.

  19. Kitten
    Posted March 23, 2009 at 6:20 am | Permalink

    Hey, dig that!
    I would totally be less intimidated to buy female condoms rather then male condoms. After all, every man has a different size, but women…well one size fit all so to speak? Do they have experation dates like men’s do? I can totally walk happily into wal-mart and plop a box of those babies down rather then a 3 boxes of differently sized men’s condoms.
    I mean really, that lady gives me such a nasty look when I do that, and I’m just protecting myself!

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