Why female condoms are so hard to find

Why female condoms are so hard to find


Male condoms come in all types of fun
shapes and sizes and flavors. Some even glow-in-the-dark. There are hundreds of male condoms that have been approved by the FDA. Amazon alone has 76
pages full of different options, but how many types of female condoms are
available in the US? Turns out, just one. A female condom is the only woman-initiated method of preventing unplanned pregnancies and sexually transmitted
infections. It’s a sheath with two rings, one open
one closed, that can be used for vaginal or anal sex. Typically it’s almost as effective as a male condom and it can be inserted up to
eight hours before having sex. So, you don’t have to stop in the heat of the
moment to fumble with a clumsy condom wrapper. Despite being effective and
convenient, only a small percent of women in the US have reportedly ever even used
a female condom. Why aren’t more women using this thing? We decided to find out. So I enlisted Dion to help me scour the neighborhood to find one. Can you just put a wig on and you can do it? Do you guys have female condoms? Do you guys have female condoms? They don’t have it. Even though we ended up getting brownie
snacks out of the whole thing, not a single store that we went to sold female
condoms. I don’t even have to leave my office lobby to buy male condoms. After doing a little research I found out why it was impossible to find a female condom. It turns out you can’t buy them in a store. Well, that sucks. Yep. Veru Inc., formerly known as the Female Health Company, is the only
company with a female condom on the market in the US. And they switched to a
prescription based system in 2017, so if you want to get one you either have to
go see your doctor or buy it directly from their website. Imagine if a man
needed prescriptions to buy condoms. Female condoms aren’t new. A Danish
inventor created a prototype in the early 1980s, in response to the AIDS
crisis at the time. In 1993 the Female Health Company brought the design to the US, and their first FDA-approved version was
unimaginatively called the FC1. It was made of polyurethane plastic, which was
less flexible than latex. Some women reported that it was uncomfortable, made
squeaky noises and, because there was little awareness around proper use, it
sometimes fell out during sex. The media also ridiculed it, comparing its
appearance to a jellyfish, a windsock, and a plastic bag. In 2009 the company came
up with a second version, the FC2, made with a softer rubber. It was more
comfortable and quieter, but it still didn’t take off. Male condoms certainly
have been around for a lot longer and are more accessible and people, frankly,
are much more comfortable with the things that they know. This is Dawn
Bingham, an ob-gyn and a fellow with Physicians for Reproductive Health. And I think that the female condom has not grown in popularity as the male condom
has, because it’s very easy to educate people about male condoms. You can let
the people know how to use a prop, using a banana to show how simple it
is to put on a male condom and we don’t have the same accessible models for
female condom to make people that comfortable. According to a report in the
Journal of Urban Health, the tampon had similar challenges when it was first
introduced in the 1930s. In the first decade on the market, the tampon was only
used by 4 to 6% of women and doctors questioned its safety and usefulness. It took decades and carefully planned marketing campaigns to reach even modest
popularity among women. Female condoms had a similar trajectory in Zimbabwe. After health organizations campaigned for the condom as a successful barrier
against HIV, the government introduced it in 1997. To boost popularity they were
marketed across universities, pharmacies, and even hair salons. Which eventually led to high usage rates and a decline in HIV cases. These kind of
contraceptive and STI prevention methods are useful, because they empower the
woman or whoever the receptive partner is to protect themselves. And they’re
simple to use. But there still isn’t enough awareness around female condoms
in the US yet. The FDA put the female condom in the
most strictly regulated category of medical devices, which requires hundreds
of thousands of dollars of extra research and takes a ton of time for
market approval. But the FDA is now considering reclassifying the female
condom and renaming it the “single-use internal condom”. This would ease
restrictions on companies and let people know they’re actually not just for women. Sure, male condoms work but that doesn’t mean they should be the only accessible
choice for everyone.

100 comments

  1. 😮 aqui no Brasil não é preciso prescrição médica mas nem todas as farmácias vendem…. os vendedores se defendem dizendo que há pouca procura.

  2. Please say internal v. external condom. You should be better than this. All sexes can use either of these condoms in various contexts.

  3. To be extra super sure to protect against pregnancy and STDs you can use both kinds of condoms. I honestly wonder how that would feel.

  4. It's like a reverse cup.
    WHY DID THESE GET THE TOUGHEST RESCRICTION CATAGORY??
    WHAT?
    I mean you can't leave them in because you can't leave anything there more then 8 hrs… In fact with tampons it's six.
    But… Come onnnn

  5. Dawg, these are not that hard to find. They're on Amazon, and I've even seen them in those little bathroom vending machines before.

  6. Having sec with a male condom and with a female condom be like: rubbing a peepee into a rubber couch at the same time making weird annoying rubber noises. Imagine awkard will that be😔😓😖😕

  7. …there’s literally no use for female condoms.

    all you have to do is tell your guy to buy them for his self.. there’s nowhere to-never mind just ignore this comment..

    weirded out female trying to understand why you’d need female condoms

  8. It’s not the only woman initiated method. Women can insert spermicide strips or gel inside them like the ones from VCF to prevent pregnancy. It’s up to 94% effective.

  9. This was interesting information. I am planning an episode about female condoms and am researching the topic. Thanks.

  10. I once try female condom, i found it more difficult to wear than male condom, and sometime it fell off so often .
    And it more expensive too

  11. Idk how much those cost in the US, but they're freaking expensive in Russia, about $12 for just one condom

  12. Female condoms must fit very well in size (a doctor can help to find the best size ) so that they don’t cause pressure on the urethra leading to urine retention and infection (since it can be inserted for a long time )
    male condoms don’t have this issue

  13. I just learned about Stealthing and how common it is. We definitely need more availability of female condoms ://

  14. Did I just see “Women 15-44 that use women condoms”

    15 yr olds should not be using condoms?????!

    Wait.. that’s illegal

  15. "They aren't as effective"
    Said every person in the comment section who has probably never used a male condom, let alone a female one

  16. That's kind of pathetic that women don't have the same access to condoms.. do American woman have noooo value in America??? Women bare the worst brunt of conception.. So it's stupid to not offer female condoms as freely as male condoms …

  17. Well the male condom is too small for me, now I know theres female condom which are not only por females.

  18. Why does this matter? It’s hard to find a condom that’s feels good already. Just cause their is a hundred brands doesn’t mean they’re different. I’m pretty sure lesbian woman don’t need condoms and why does and woman need to buy a condom to feel in control? She can’t buy a “regular” condom and apply it herself to be in control? That way would also be more intimate and I can’t imagine female condoms feeling good.

    Does this person own stocks in that one company or something? This feels like a marketing stunt more than anything.

  19. Why you can’t find female condoms? SIMPLE, women don’t want to be responsible and use their own protection. They want to make MEN responsible for diseases and pregnancy

  20. Here in Brazil its very easy to find female condoms, the government give them 100% free for you, also I have a class in the 5 or 6 grade where the theacher shows How to use it with a model.

  21. Hahaha!!! I remember using these all the time in college, I would actually prefer them. I use to get tons of them, along with male condoms, from the college clinic for free!! Forgot all about them until this video, hilarious!!

  22. I think many women just want men to be responsible for everything so they can claim innocence if something goes wrong.

  23. There is only ever one reason: the market for this is insufficient
    If there was enough profits in it, there’d be enough companies doing it

  24. Why does Vox refer to it for the majority of the video as a 'female condom' when it can be used by anyone (eg. vaginally by transgender men and anally by cis men or any gender). It's an internal condom.

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  26. Condom only 82% effective? Hogwash. You can't count people not using them correctly and/or irresponsibly.

  27. Im an old guy, and NEVER ONCE in my life have I EVER been ABLE to use or EVEN get hard with a condom.. Its literally IMPOSSIBLE for some of us…

  28. I'm so confused because there are tons of different kinds and you don't need a prescription. You can buy them at walmart or online at their store and there are like 5 different types and brands you can choose from. There are even some on amazon.

    This also comes down to it not being as effective and less people wanting to use them.

    I don't understand because pretty much everything they said seems to be a lie or a stretch from the truth.

  29. I wish you promoted Lindsey Doe's names of in and out condom because they are more trans and intersex friendly.

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