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April 13, 2014 | by  | in News |
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Women can now access more contraception than ever, with female condoms now available.

A recent amendment to the Contraception, Sterilisation, and Abortion Act 1977 now allows for the sale of female condoms within New Zealand.

The female condom is a soft, transparent, non-latex sheath about the same length as a male condom which protects against both pregnancy and sexually transmitted infections.

Previously, female condoms were not available in New Zealand, as Medsafe had not approved the material from which they are made; a synthetic latex material known as nitrile.

However, in late 2013, Medsafe carried out a consultation on the standard for female condoms and subsequently submitted a recommendation for approval to the Ministry of Health.

Positive Women Inc (PWI), the national support organisation for women and families living with HIV and AIDS, has been a strong advocate for the legalisation of female condoms for over three years. PWI Coordinator Jane Bruning said that she was “ecstatic” with the amendment.

“The female condom empowers women to take control over their sexual health and safety, making it an important option for women. The next battle will be to ensure they are subsidised so they are not only available but affordable, at the same level as the male condom,” said Bruning.

PWI stated that the female condom means women no longer need to negotiate safer sex with their partners, as it allows women control over their own sexual health and wellbeing, as well as providing a real-world alternative to the medicated contraception options currently available.

The female condom is also said to enhance practicality, as it can be inserted into the vagina hours before sex takes place, and pleasure, as the design is said to enrich the sensation of sex.

An official launch for the FC2 female condom will take place on 1 May 2014, when they will also be publicly available via the GLYDE Healthcare website. Retail stockists across New Zealand will have them for sale from Friday 2 May 2014.


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