One of the goals of the UAFC Joint Programme is to make sure there will be a price reduction and an increase in variety of female condoms on the market. More variety will lead to more demand, which in turn will spur producers to develop and supply more and better products. Different types of female condoms will lead to competition and lower prices for poor women and men in developing countries. Variety is needed so that women will be able to choose a product that suits their life-style and physical needs. Male condoms are available in every size and colour imaginable. The same should apply to female condoms. More choice will probably also lead to increased usage. When more people know and use female condoms, it will eventually become an accepted and ordinary product.
The most well-known product is the FC2 made by the Female Health Company (FHC), currently being the only female condom with WHO pre-qualification and procured in large quantities by UN agencies. The FC2 consists of a pouch made of synthetic nitrile rubber and contains an inner ring that aids insertion and helps to secure the device in place during intercourse while an outer ring remains outside the vagina. Unlike the first generation version of the product (FC1), which was made from polyurethane, the FC2 uses nitrile which is equally as effective as polyurethane and latex rubber but is less costly to make and thus allows for significant reductions in consumer price.
The FC2 dominates the global market, but there are other manufacturers that have been developing their own female condoms to compete with FHC. In this regard, UAFC has been supporting three different products as a means of increasing choice, availability and accessibility.: the Reddy female condom, Cupid and the PATH/Dahua Woman’s Condom.
Reddy female condom
The Reddy female condom is made by an Indian manufacturer and is currently available in India, Brazil and Cameroon. It consists of a pouch made from natural rubber latex, a soft inner sponge made of polyurethane foam that anchors the condom during intercourse, and an outer V-shaped frame. Studies have shown that the inner sponge has been preferred by some women as it is softer than a ring and adapts to the unique shape of each individual. The tip of the outer frame’s V–shape is also designed to stimulate the clitoris during intercourse.
The Woman’s Condom has been developed by PATH (an international non-profit organization) and public sector research partners with feedback from couples. The Woman's Condom is manufactured by Dahua Medical Apparatus Company in Shanghai, China. The product has the CE Mark and Shanghai Food and Drug Administration approval, which allows for marketing and distribution in the European Union and China, respectively. The Woman's Condom, branded O'lavieTM for the China market, has been available in China in limited distribution channels since late 2011. The product has innovative design features. The condom is a polyurethane pouch that is partially enclosed in a dissolving capsule, which helps make insertion easier. After insertion in the vagina, the capsule dissolves quickly, allowing the pouch to expand. Four foam shapes attached to the outside of the pouch then cling lightly to the vagina and help hold the pouch stable during sex. Unlike all other condoms mentioned above, the Woman's Condom does not come pre-lubricated. Each condom is packaged with a small sachet of water-based lubricatn to be applied at point of use.
The female condom manufactured by Cupid is made out of natural rubber latex and consists of a polyethylene donut-shaped inner sponge that is inserted into the vagina and a soft outer ring that protects the outside of the vagina. The condom is currently available in India with clinical trials taking place for a wider international launch.
UAFC is working closely with these manufacturers to complete clinical trials necessary for consideration for WHO pre-qualification and eventual global bulk procurement and distribution. The studies necessary are currently being finalized. It is expected that at least two types of female condoms will be WHO pre-qualified before the end of 2012 and then can begin to have a wider international presence.
The FC2 is available through the public sector and distributed by public health organizations and donor groups in over 100 countries worldwide; for further information and procurement please . It is also available through the commercial sector in the US and many other European countries, ask your pharmacist or local drug store for details.
For more information on Cupid’s female condoms . The condom is CE and GMP approved and is available for bulk procurement.
If you are interested in procuring Reddy and PATH/Dahua Woman’s Condom please