When it comes to sex we all want autonomy, confidence and the assurance that each decision we make doesn’t come with undesired results. Referencing this hit song, which cannot stop playing in my head as I write this piece, I realize that while the good things might revolve around pleasure and intimacy, the bad things have a long-lasting effect on the social, mental, physical and emotional wellness of a human being. That is why for one, there’s an array of contraceptives in the market to provide us with options and the freedom we so desire for good sex and sexual wellness. Life Like A Lady Part 8: Me, Him & The Awkward Contraceptives Conversation In the Middle Of A Steamy Romantic Moment
However, with options comes choice overload where a person becomes overwhelmed due to the potential risks and outcomes associated with making a wrong choice. There’s also the case of having approximately too many good options which becomes mentally draining because each possibility, has to be weighed against an alternative to select the best one. This is the story of any woman relating to almost every aspect of her life, contraceptives being no exception. (Just to mention, to date we have over 12 methods of birth control, each with a difference in use and propagated efficacy). Female Contraceptives: Are Women Aware Of All The Options?
Still, we cannot undermine the benefit that comes with having options. Although, we can highlight one of the simplest methods of protection, which is often neglected or replaced by other forms of contraceptives.
The female condom
The female condom is one of the least used methods of contraceptives; yet according to path.org, it protects against STIs as well as adds sexual pleasure. Its efficacy reads at 95% with perfect use and 75-82% of normal use, statistics provided by the U.S National Library of Medicine.
The UN reports that female sterilization and the IUD are the two most common methods used by married or in-union women worldwide. Although, overall, short-term and reversible methods, such as the pill, injectable and male condom, are more common in Africa and Europe than other methods.
The pill is usually the most relied on and widely accepted among women, yet it mostly characterized by hormonal imbalance as one of the effects. John Hopkins Medical Centre indicates that “Women with high blood pressure or poorly managed diabetes might be taking contraceptives that alter how effective their birth control might be or even be detrimental to their health.”
On the other hand, the female condom, being a barrier method doesn’t come with hormonal changes.
Many might argue that the male condom, its counterpart is easier to use. However, with this particular panty female condom first launched in the Ugandan market in 2015 the case of ease and efficacy is addressed.
“A woman likes something that is sexy, clean and something that does not need a lot of effort. And this panty condom fits that bill.” Dr Moses Muwonge the Executive Director SAMASHA Medical Foundation, a local non-profit promoting the condom says.
Designed in the form of a G-string the panty condom can be worn for hours before intercourse since it has an inner protective layer which protects the condom against friction.
“It comes lubricated and also allows for a change in sex positions without the shifting of the pouch as experienced with the previous versions of the female condoms.” Dr Moses Muwonge continues.
It is evident that this particular version of the female condom empowers the woman to take charge of her sexual health. Considering that it is also geared to provide a woman with an alternative to the male condom, it gains points in terms of innovativeness and design.
Kenneth Mugumya the national coordinator of Uganda Family Planning Consortium, says “The condom is 10 times thinner than other condoms. It is also anti-allergic and it reduces pressure.”
“There are many female condoms on the market but they are not appealing. The panty condom, however, is discreet and appealing to both women and men. You will not even feel it,” Mugumya adds.
However, the question remains, are women ready to replace other forms of contraceptives for the panty female condom? The previous version of the female condom is said to be less effective (at 95% efficacy with perfect use) than the male condom at 98%. Therefore, how effective is this new version of the female condom? A pair of the underwear and 2 condoms are sold at $5. Will this affect the uptake of the panty female condom?
No news about the condom is yet to be heard in Kenya nor are any of the panty female condoms being sold on Jumia. However, as we await further updates, leave your comment below to let us know what you think about the panty female condom.
Now back to the tune that was ringing in my head, Let’s talk about sex
Female Contraceptives: Are Women Aware Of All The Options?
Featured image via Soundcloud