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Medical News

Ohio: Study of Female Condom Could Yield Another Choice

November 23, 2009

Early next year, the University of Cincinnati will be one of a dozen sites where researchers will begin studying an improved female condom. The university's Center for Reproductive Health may begin enrolling 50-60 female volunteers in February, said Dr. Michael A. Thomas, the center's director. The National Institutes of Health awarded the center $608,000 for the study.

"The primary thing we'll be looking at is obviously efficacy," including breakage and leakage, said Thomas. "Those are the issues that you primarily look at when it comes to condoms and testing condoms."

The study will focus on a product called the Woman's Condom. Created by the international nonprofit health organization PATH, it was designed to be thinner and softer than the original female condom. Women enrolled in the trial will need to be able to travel to Cincinnati three times over a six-month period and keep a study diary. Over two and one-half years, 200-250 women are expected to take part in the study.

Female condoms offer women "a nonhormonal way of protecting themselves against pregnancy and [STDs]," Thomas said. As they are female-controlled, the devices can be useful for women whose male partners either cannot or will not use condoms, she said. Comfortable use of a female condom may take three to five uses, he said.

In March, the Food and Drug Administration approved the Female Health Co.'s FC2, a second-generation female condom touted as less squeaky and more comfortable than the FC1.

For more information about the Woman's Condom, visit

Back to other news for November 2009

Adapted from:
Courier Journal (Louisville)
11.19.2009; Darla Carter

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This article was provided by CDC National Prevention Information Network. It is a part of the publication CDC HIV/Hepatitis/STD/TB Prevention News Update.
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