Laura Arias, Staff Writer
The female condom, like the male condom, is used to prevent unwanted pregnancy and STIs including HIV (used during sexual intercourse). A study done by the University of California San Francisco states that the female condom is made of polyurethane, a soft, thin plastic. Some might say that it is more pleasurable to wear a female condom than a male condom while having heterosexual sex. The female condom has a different structure rather than the male condom; it has two rings, one on each end, connected by a sheath of this plastic. The inner ring of the condom, which is sealed closed, is inserted into the vagina; the outer ring, which provides an opening for the penis to enter the vagina, remains outside the body, covering the external genital area.
If the female condom is used for the same purposes as the male condom and it allows for women to always be prepared with protection, as men are expected to, why are female condoms more expensive?
According to the American Pregnancy Association, the costs for female condoms range from $2.50 to $5, while male condoms range from $0.20 to $2.50. Why must women pay more to have protected sex? Women are asking this all over the country.
This issue has recently been targeted by many women’s health organizations because not only are female condoms more expensive, but women are not as educated on their availability and uses as everyone is about male condoms. In 2010, a campaign called “D.C.’s Doin’ It!” distributed 500,000 female condoms in Washington D.C. Donald McNeil, reporter from the New York Times asserted that their prime goal for the campaign was AIDS prevention. The campaign concluded that after giving away less than half of the condoms, they prevented 23 infections.
Though the female condom was made about 30 years ago, it has not been exposed enough for it to become as popular and important as the male condom. Planned Parenthood currently provides women with quality female condoms for an affordable price of $2. This is still not equivalent to buying a quality male condom, but is less expensive than quality female condoms from other providers. The truth is female condoms are as important as male condoms because they allow women to maintain responsibility over their bodies and health.