Contraception has come a long way. Many methods and forms have been invented. Condoms, however, are the most recommended form. Condoms, which are made of a soft latex, not only offers prevention to unwanted pregnancies, it also offers protection against STD's and the deadly AIDS virus. There are great numbers of people infected with this untreatable disease, all precautions should be taken when one decides to have intercourse with a new partner. The only form of protection that is available for this disease is
1)Condoms 2)Abstinence.No other birth control can offer this protection.
When it comes to contraception, both parties involved are responsible. However, this is not always the case. Women are most often placed with the burden. This might be true because of the variety of methods offered to women versus men. Women can use Diaphragms, sponges, IUD's, Norplant, and the Pill. Men are only given one method, the condom. This is the safest form offered in today's market and it's the only barrier method that can prevent the spread of STDs and AIDS. This however, is a thing of the past.
Wiscoinson Pharmacal Company (WPC) has gotten approval from the FDA on December 10, 1992, for Reality the FEMALE CONDOM. The FDA placed a few conditions that WPC must agree to before a final approval was given. These conditions were:
The FDA was most concerned about the high rate of pregnancy resulting from improper use of the female condom. The agency gave the product an expedited review bacause it saw an urgent need for a means whereby women can protect themeselves without depending on the cooperation of their partners. FDA had reservations about the limited data available on protection the female condom offered against STDs, as well as about the high pregnancy rate among users, the small number of women in the clinical studies and the short duration of the studies, which lasted less than a year. Eventually, the agency decided to approve the female condom as the only product of its kind ready for marketing. Wisconsin Pharmacal Co. was the first to have a product that was ready to market and was given the marketing rights for the female condom under the product name Reality, in the U.S.and Canada.
The female condom can be inserted in minutes before intercourse, or several hours in advance. Click below for an illustrative diagram of how the female condom is use. How to use Reality
Reality is made of polyurethane, a material stronger and thinner than latex. Polyurethane is used medically for many purposes, including surgical implants, bandages and certain prosthetic units. The type of polyurethane used is soft and easy to handle. It transfers heat, so it warms to body temperature soon after insertion.
The maufacturer, Wisconsin Pharmacal Co., studied 200 women who used the device for six months. In the study, the six-month pregnancy rate among U.S. women was approximately 12.5 percent, or an estimated 26 percent per year. This high rate is believed to have been the result of improper use of the device. It compares to an expected rate of 85 percent among women not using any contraceptive method. Women who use the device correctly each and every time they have intercourse can expect a much lower pregnancy rate.
In laboratory tests done by WPC, studies have established that the AIDS virus (HIV) and the hepatitis B virus, the smallest virus known to cause an STD, do not penetrate the Reality sheath.