Female Condom Use Still Has Barriers
WebMD News Archive
Interviews with the women showed that more than two-thirds had used the
female condom, with 46% trying it twice or more. This is progress, says
Wechsberg, but more is needed. "With a female condom, it's 'Oh, how do I
insert it? How do I deal with touching myself?' Some of these women may be out
there trading their bodies, but they're really unaware of their sexuality,"
Wechsberg tells WebMD.
Another study, from the University of Massachusetts on attitudes of
African-American and Puerto Rican women toward the female condom, shows the
will to use the device is there -- but not necessarily the way. While interest
in this kind of protection was high, women had trouble finding answers to their
questions about the approach or where to get the device for free. So more
education about female condoms is needed for both women and health care
University of Michigan researchers studied the female condom in male-female
relationships. Researchers found that the duration of a relationship is less
important than the quality of sexual communication when it comes to success
with the female condom. Based on interviews with women and their male partners,
those who used the device consistently could talk openly about the experience.
Inability to have frank discussions about sex proved to be a hallmark of
How a person presents the female condom to her partner is also an important
consideration, says Ana Penman, MPH, of the University of Alabama at
Birmingham. Women in this study were coached on presentation techniques and
given a video for illustration. Successful women, says, Penmen, tried a variety
of approaches. If at first, they didn't succeed, they tried something else. For
example, suggesting the condom as a novelty, as this excerpt from a study
participant interview illustrates:
"Do you want to try something different? And he said, 'What?', and I
said, 'a female condom.' He said, 'Yeah, I'll try [it]. I don't have to do
nothing?' And [I] said, 'No, I'll do all the work.'"