Female Condoms Should Be Made Accessible
I was having this conversation with my friends about women's 'hoe phase' when they want to explore their sexuality and how unconscious they may be about practicing safe sex.
I am an early 20-something-year-old girl who has never seen a female condom before even up till this moment you're reading this.
Out of curiosity, I went on a female condom shopping spree in Surulere, Lagos. I visited about 5 stores including the famous SPAR and 3 Pharmacies and the result of my tour was either they were out of stock or they were not selling 'such things'. This could only mean two things, women buy more condoms than men or stores deliberately won't sell them because they find it disconcerting. Women should be able to feel safe knowing they are in control of their sexual and reproductive health too.
Just as the male condom, the female condom protects against unintended pregnancy and sexually transmitted infections (STIs). I still do not understand why female condoms are poorly distributed but here are a few things to know about them:
- Female condoms are often made of polyurethane or nitrile(the same material used to make surgical gloves) which is safe to use for people who are allergic to latex. Some female condoms are also made with Latex. The benefit of the nitrile-made female condom is that it can be used with all types of lubricants.
- In most instances, some people find that after sufficient foreplay, stopping to search, open, or put a condom on the penis can disrupt erection, and kill the mood. A female condom doesn't require an erection for use. The female condom can bypass this as it are inserted into the vagina up to eight hours before sex.
- Another thing about female condoms is that they are not easily positioned as male condoms, it usually requires know-how.
Providing sex education in Uni or at the very least, sharing free female condoms is a start. Other great places are local businesses and youth groups. In many communities, there is a need for this, just as my 20-something-year-old self hasn't seen a female condom, many women will not learn to use it if it is not easily available.
When female condoms are brought into the conversation, it reinforces healthy sexual behaviors. So, the next time a woman is going to have sex, they will become more conscious and remember how and why to use one.
The attitude around sex needs to change in this country because women deserve to have safe, healthy relationships.
Edits: I finally found what female condoms looked like two months after writing this in my friend's apartment.
PS: This post is from my archives.