A design for the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation hopes to create an elliptical-shaped female condom.
The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation wants to see a next-gen condom – a revamped version of the traditional latex love glove that will encourage protected sex, and in turn, prevent unintended pregnancies and sexually transmitted diseases. In response to this call to action, Indiana University researchers are creating a female condom that offers a more natural fit for the female body.
This redesigned female condom has a more elliptical shape, rather than the more traditional round one. The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation announced last month that it would sponsor the research for this new female condom.
This Female Pleasure Condom will also be ribbed on one side, offering a potentially more enjoyable experience than with no condom at all. Additionally, the UI researchers will test an alternative method for applying the female condom using extra latex coating at the internal, closed end of the condom, adding more comfort.
What are the benefits of a restyled female condom? For starters, there are few existing options that are well designed for a woman’s body.
“Female condoms are really in their infancy. There are very few designs, IU researcher Debby Herbenick said. “Current condoms are big and baggy and really don’t match a female’s anatomy.”
A more naturally fitting, elliptical-shaped condom also empowers women to take contraceptive control into their own hands. A majority of the submitted projects focused on revamping the male condom – from contraptions for high-speed application to reshapes for greater pleasure – as to not kill the mood. Amid ample redesigned MALE condoms, this new female condom lets women take the initiative to use protection.
During the 18-month grant, researchers will finalize their design, search for a manufacturer, and create a prototype that will be evaluated by couples in India.
Photo: Debby Herbenick