Today we celebrate the female condom, a necessary but complicated beast. It’s the only contraceptive that protects against both STIs and pregnancy that women can be completely in control of. Agency! Sexual autonomy! It’s all good. Women all over the world are being encouraged to take control of our sexual and reproductive health, and female condoms are imperative in this effort. All hail the female condom, in all its convenient glory. It’s immediately reversible and doesn’t require a prescription from a healthcare professional, so in some ways it’s a no brainer.
However, this article on the pros and cons of female condom use will put you about as in the mood for sex as the chicken pox. Some highlights:
“It’s made of a plastic material that may be noisy during intercourse.”
Well this sounds awful.
“The inner ring is ‘one size fits most’ and may cause discomfort for some people.”
In my experience with things that are not female condoms, “one size fits all” is typically code for “one size fits pretty much no one.”
Of course safety is paramount, but we can do better than this! Scientists, this is a call to arms. It’s imperative that women have a prophylactic option, but one size fits all? Sounds like you’re having sex with a plastic bag? Hell no. We deserve better than that.
Happy Global Female Condom day from someone who is enthusiastic about sexual and reproductive health but totally un-enthused by the idea of a crinkly, twisting, leaky female condom.