Friday, August 6, 2010
Friday, August 6, 2010
What is a Female Condom?
The female condom helps protect partners from pregnancy and sexually transmitted infections, including HIV/AIDS. It is the only female-controlled device offering this protection. A female condom is a thin, loose-fitting and flexible plastic tube worn inside the vagina. A soft ring at the closed end of the tube covers the cervix during intercourse and holds it inside the vagina. Another ring at the open end of the tube stays outside the vagina and partly covers the lip area. A female condom provides a barrier between partners to prevent sharing bodily fluids like semen, blood, or saliva. This helps ensure that sexually transmitted infections are not passed and pregnancy does not occur. Female condoms are 79-95% effective.
From cnn published post :
CNN) -- They've been called noisy, unwieldy and like a plastic bag.
Yet, major health campaigns in Washington, Chicago, Illinois, and New York City are promoting female condoms to curb the spread of HIV/AIDS.
Although the U.S. Food and Drug Administration approved female condoms in 1993, they haven't exactly been embraced.
After a second version of the female condom was approved by the FDA in 2009, HIV/AIDS health campaigns began distributing them in major cities and offering training on how to use them at local salons and community centers.
The condoms are another tool to empower and protect women from sexually transmitted infections and pregnancy, health advocates say. But the question remains: Will women actually use them?
Aside from the mechanics, the products are hard to find and cost more than male condoms.
They're pretty much irrelevant, said Alexandra Katehakis, a certified sex therapist and clinical director of the Center for Healthy Sex in Los Angeles, California.
"It's too convoluted," Katehakis said. "The penis is external. It takes two seconds to put on a male condom. This could take minutes and women have to get into this contortionist act to put the condom on. It's not practical."
The newest version of female condoms called FC2 is cheaper and uses a non-latex material. 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, much like a tampon. The other ring remains outside the body.
When tampons were first introduced, people cringed at the thought of insertion, but women eventually caught on, said Zoe Lehman, a support services coordinator at the Chicago Women's AIDS project.
"It's the same deal with female condoms - it's not complicated at all," she said. "People have the idea it's more complicated to use it because no one has shown them how to use it."
The device gives women some control in negotiating condom use, said HIV/AIDS advocates.
The reactions from female condom users have varied.
Casandra, a Fort Lauderdale, Florida, health advocate, tried the female condom several times, because she wanted to be able to answer questions about it. She asked that her last name not be used.
"It was a little strange to get it up there," said Casandra, who prefers the male condom. "In terms of inserting it, it was a little bit weird doing it in front of my partner. After it was in, it was OK."
San Francisco's health department has interest in the campaign too, according to the makers of the female condom, Female Health Co.
"There's nothing wrong with the male condom," said Mary Ann Leeper, senior strategic advisor at the company. "If you use it, fair enough. A lot of people -- male and female -- don't like it and have unprotected sex. What we say is it gives people options and empowers women to initiate a method if he doesn't use a male condom. It empowers her to take care of herself."
Having a female condom option increases the rate of protected sex, she said.
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This is my first award..awarded from Lily
Thank you very much
lyly said : tu sais je t'taime
This second award from PrincessQish