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An FDA advisory panel unanimously approved the FC2 female condom. The FC2 is very similar to the current version of the female condom and is in fact intended to replace it. The primary difference is the FC2 is made of nitrile instead of polyurethane, making it cheaper to manufacture. As that one of the primary barriers preventing women from using female condoms is cost, this is excellent news.
Since male condoms are almost always cheaper why use a female condom at all if cost is an issue? Because the female condom allows women to take control of both birth control and STI prevention with one simple device. That can be huge for women who have partners who are reluctant to use condoms, get regular STI screening, or otherwise show respect for their health. The female condom also has the advantages of being latex-free, one size-fits-all, and can be inserted up to eight hours before intercourse.
Want to learn more about female condoms? We cover it right next to male condoms in our Birth Control Bingo: Condoms article. Avert also does a nice job explaining the pros and cons. Finally, if you have experiences with female condoms you'd like to share please do so at the message boards.