Last week, the FDA approved the FC2 (produced by Female Health Co.), a newer version of the female condom that costs 30% less than the versions available now. According to the press release:
The cost of FC1 has remained a key barrier to increased uptake by HIV prevention programs in the U.S. and globally. While numerous studies over the past two decades have indicated that acceptability of FC1 is comparable to the male condom among both male and female users, the high cost of FC1 has limited procurement by government programs and direct purchase by individual consumers.
While no specific details were given about the cost comparisons, the hope is that many of the barriers/objections hindering female condom use will be lifted now.
One objection that I often hear (unrelated to cost and availability) is “I don’t know how to use that!” The AIDS Foundation of Chicago
donated safe sex packets, and female condoms were included. I overheard a few ladies questioning the practicality and simplicity of the female condoms. Now, I’ve never tried them so I can’t even begin to give any advice, but many community and government organizations are encouraging women to try this tool out. Some reasons?
- Women are taking responsibility for their sexual health
- Women are protected even if their partner can’t or refuses to wear a condom
- Women can wear the condom for up to 8 hours before intercourse
- The female condom can be used if one or both parties has a latex allergy
If you’re interested in trying the female condom out, you may be able to snag a free
sample from local organizations such as Planned Parenthood, government health clinics, or other sexual health organizations. You can also purchase them at most drugstores and pharmacies!
If you’re in Chicago, the Chicago Women’s AIDS Project
is hosting a training day this Saturday, 3/21 for women (high-school aged and up) to learn about the female condom and become an advocate for comprehensive sexual education!
See the flyer below for details!