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According to CNN, major health campaigns in Washington, Chicago, Illinois, and New York City are promoting female condoms to prevent the spread of HIV/AIDS.

The Food and Drug Administration approved female condoms in 1993, and nearly 20 years later, most women still don’t use them.

But organizations around the country are asking why.

CNN reports female condoms are hard to find and they cost more.

There’s a new version of the first condom on the market called FC2. This condom is cheaper at $3 for one pack, and uses a non-latex material. CNN says the device looks like a long sheath with two soft rings at each end. One ring must be pushed with a finger into the vagina, similar to a tampon. The other ring is designed to sit outside the body.

Sounds too difficult? You can see a demonstration here:

HIV/AIDS advocates suggest that female condoms gives women control in negotiating condom use. Experts also report female condoms increases the rate of protected sex.

CNN’s special report on female condoms reveals that while women should consider using condoms, the effectiveness of the devices currently on the market still have a long way to go. But we shouldn’t let our lack of awareness and fear, stop us from giving female condoms a chance.

What do you think about female condoms? Have you ever used one?

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  • Nikki

    So funny I just had a first experience with these last week. I went to a NY clinic for a check up and when I complained to my Dr. that I’m allergic to latex, she mentioned the female condom, F2, as a non-latex alternative. My Dr. gave me loads of them (FYI: you can get free female condoms at any NY clinic and many other clinics in the states- so there goes that argument!) but when I asked her if she’d ever used one herself she said no. That night I asked my girls if they had ever used one or if they ever would and after they all erupted into laughter the answer was pretty much no. Most of them noted that the female condoms are huge in length and also cover up your entire vagina (true and true) and they all thought it would be weird to pull one out with a guy, since most guys aren’t used to them.

    So with no point of reference, some reservation and a host of teenaged-style gigles myself I tried the female condom and I must say they’re not as “weird” as my girls thought. They’re actually very easy to put into place and as long as you make sure to have your guy insert into it, I wouldn’t worry about it moving around to the point where it gets lost (the opening is very big so that’s pretty impossible once he’s in). It took a second to get used to the feeling of a baggier condom for me, but my guy actually said he enjoyed the experience more because it was less constrictin for than a male condom. On the first it also felt a little funny to take the female condom out because of the ring at the bottom, but no more funny than taking out a tampon: you get used to it.

    Once we got into the act, I hardly noticed the condom at all.

    Normally I wouldn’t “review” a condom on a site, but if you’re thinking about trying these out don’t let the stigmas, etc. stop you. While they take a little getting used to, you’ll barely notice them during sex and your man might actually prefer them ;)

  • Alley

    I wouldn’t use them. They are bulky and have a high rate of human error. I stick with a monogamous relationship. If/when I enter a new (sexual) relationship, I will stick with the male condoms to prevent STDs.

  • Tiffany W.

    For one, I appreciate the maturity of the girls in the video. They look high-school aged, and double kudos for being proactive in learning how to protect themselves.

    On that note, I know I would not be a female condom user. I cannot even deal with tampons, so that’s definitely a no go.

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  • E

    I’ve used a female condom with my boyfriend before and it was in and out within 10 seconds because it felt strange. I’m not sure if it was the F2 (my experience was like 2 years ago), but the female condom we used was not latex and it literally felt like I was using a plastic shower cap as a condom. It was noisy and uncomfortable for both me and my man, so we immediately switched to a male condom.

    Just to touch on a previous person’s comment, monogamous relationships are great, I’ve been in one for well over 2 years, but I still think it is important to practice safe sex because no matter how much you trust your partner, you just never know what they may or may not be up to and your health/life is not something to play with. If you aren’t using condoms regularly, be sure to get tested frequently.

    Prevention is better than cure.