Donate Now
We've Moved! Check out our new boards.
  New Poll  
my profile | directory login | search | faq | forum home

  next oldest topic   next newest topic
» Scarleteen Boards: 2000 - 2014 (Archive) » SCARLETEEN CENTRAL » Safer Sex & Birth Control » Femcap

 - UBBFriend: Email this page to someone!    
Author Topic: Femcap
-Lauren-
Activist
Member # 25983

Icon 13 posted      Profile for -Lauren-     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
I'd just like to share some information about the company/person who is marketing the Femcap, as it's come to my attention that the policies and language their web site and personal correspondence uses is disempowering and offensive to both men and women, not to mention medically iffy.

This page shows the advantages and disadvantages of the method. The first several "requirements for perfect use" are reasonable, but there are some that provoke some head-scratching, such as the recommendation in bold red that the cap "never be inserted in your partner's presence", that "a bit of spermicide added to the tip of your finger and inserted deep into the vagina" should be done before repeat intercourse, and that emergency contraception should be used if the cap is used incorrectly or not at all.

A group I'm part of became concerned and sent a polite email asking for clarification on the point of partner involvement, specifically since it was written in red and thus deemed very important by the manufacturer. This was the reply:

The presence of your partner while inserting the FemCap has several drawbacks A. Women may get nervous in presence of any body while inserting a vaginal device, which may lead to a contraction even a spasm of the vaginal opening.

B. Your partner may feel sorry to see you struggling to get the device in place and he may offer to help, and once he tries to help you, it is guaranteed he will fail even if he is a doctor because it is ideal to insert the FemCap in squatting position , which brings the cervix closer to your fingers. If he tries to help you ,you must lie on your back which moves the cervix upward further from his fingers.

C. His manipulation to fit the FemCap over your cervix will certainly be a turn off to both of you, and he may tell you forget it. Do I need to tell you more?


The response doesn't really sit well with me for a whole bunch of reasons I can't touch. I've heard from women who've called the "help line" (that goes straight to the doctor who invented and markets the product) to literally be raged at by the man on the phone for having their partner's help inserting the device or even going over the information.

I'm going to be sending an email as well to ask about the criteria for perfect use and express my disappointment in this attitude, which is IMO totally inappropriate for a contraceptive company, who should be encouraging partners to work together to practice safer sex. I just wanted to share this here to get some perspective, and perhaps some additional help sleuthing this out/getting the word out.

Thoughts?

Posts: 4636 | From: USA/Northern Europe | Registered: Oct 2005  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Heather
Executive Director & Founder
Member # 3

Icon 1 posted      Profile for Heather     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
This is, indeed, disappointing. And anyone being yelled at is obviously completely inappropriate.

I do think they CAN address things like their A. answer in a way that is NOT inappropriate and not so full of bias. That answer C. is... outrageous, IMO. If a partner acts that way, in my book, you should tell HIM to freaking forget it.

Even their response to you seems very odd, honestly.

But I don't see the issue with:
quote:
that "a bit of spermicide added to the tip of your finger and inserted deep into the vagina" should be done before repeat intercourse, and that emergency contraception should be used if the cap is used incorrectly or not at all.


--------------------
Heather Corinna, Executive Director & Founder, Scarleteen
About Me Get our book!
Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has. - Margaret Mead

Posts: 68290 | From: An island near Seattle | Registered: May 2000  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
-Lauren-
Activist
Member # 25983

Icon 1 posted      Profile for -Lauren-     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
For real. And C had the added implication that is acceptable behavior, and that would lead to quite a pickle for the poor little woman who has to have unprotected sex without this product. Ugh.

With the spermicide, I was under the impression that a little smear doesn't really do anything, and that's why (among infection risks) it's not in vogue to use on condoms any more. Planned Parenthood recommends another full application of spermicide for repeat intercourse, and some sources (for older caps I think) say there is no need for it at all. To suggest that they just use a little dab just seems weird and half-assed, you know?

And about the EC, I actually could use some input on that. This is where the website talks about effectiveness:

Q): What is the effectiveness rate of the FemCap? A): Effectiveness depends on the motivation of the user and whether she uses the FemCap consistently and properly every time she has sex. There is a wide range of effectiveness among users. It is estimated that the FemCap may achieve up to 96-98% success in preventing pregnancy if used PERFECTLY. The perfect use estimation is based on the fact that if emergency contraception (plan-B) is used alone, it would be 95% effective if used within 24 hours and 89% effective if used within 72 hours in preventing pregnancy.

It seems like they're dodging the question of how effective it is by factoring in use of another method, which is only to be used in the case of method failure. So it's not perfect use at all, is it? Weird..

[ 09-18-2009, 01:35 PM: Message edited by: -Lauren- ]

Posts: 4636 | From: USA/Northern Europe | Registered: Oct 2005  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Heather
Executive Director & Founder
Member # 3

Icon 1 posted      Profile for Heather     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
quote:
And C had the added implication that is acceptable behavior, and that would lead to quite a pickle for the poor little woman who has to have unprotected sex without this product. Ugh.
Agreed.

And I get you with the dab. However, cervical caps and femcaps, because of differences in design from diaphragms or condoms, require WAY less spermicide to be used in the first place. So, I'd say that dab is likely comparable in volume to the original volume used, per the kind of volume used for a diaphragm and the volume suggested for addition. Know what I mean?

--------------------
Heather Corinna, Executive Director & Founder, Scarleteen
About Me Get our book!
Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has. - Margaret Mead

Posts: 68290 | From: An island near Seattle | Registered: May 2000  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Heather
Executive Director & Founder
Member # 3

Icon 1 posted      Profile for Heather     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
One thing you might do, by the way, given the information such as C. is presented as factual, rather than as opinion, is ask for a source/study which shows those attitudes by men.

You might also want to point out that statements like that are just as offensive to men as to women.

--------------------
Heather Corinna, Executive Director & Founder, Scarleteen
About Me Get our book!
Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has. - Margaret Mead

Posts: 68290 | From: An island near Seattle | Registered: May 2000  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Heather
Executive Director & Founder
Member # 3

Icon 1 posted      Profile for Heather     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
...you might also ask him if he gives the same advice to men about putting on condoms. [Smile]

--------------------
Heather Corinna, Executive Director & Founder, Scarleteen
About Me Get our book!
Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has. - Margaret Mead

Posts: 68290 | From: An island near Seattle | Registered: May 2000  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
-Lauren-
Activist
Member # 25983

Icon 1 posted      Profile for -Lauren-     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Haha, I'll be pointing out that hypocrisy for sure.

Gotcha about the spermicide thing. I'm still unsure about the "perfect usage" rate factoring in EC.. all I can figure is that information isn't available, so they (he?) has to come up with some effectiveness information that doesn't look absolutely dismal (like the first-generation trials were). But still, seems misleading.

Another member has gotten a response when they sent a similar email, citing that there's a clear disclaimer at the bottom of the page:

"Nothing on this Website should be construed as the giving of advice or the making of a recommendation, and it should not be relied on as the basis for any decision or action."

So, I'm not really sure how far I'm going to get. Seems a bit weird to write something like that on a contraceptive website.. I mean, if you look up the instructions for use on a major website like NuvaRing, those are the set in stone instructions for use, not something that shouldn't be construed as advice or directions.

This is some seriously weird crap. I'm curious to know/see how this info compares to any info from the FDA, and why the hell this person apparently feels the need to add a ton of "recommendations, but not" for use based on their personal opinion.

Posts: 4636 | From: USA/Northern Europe | Registered: Oct 2005  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
-Lauren-
Activist
Member # 25983

Icon 1 posted      Profile for -Lauren-     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
As an update, I received a reply that all statements relating to the partner not being allowed to be present have been deleted, and they have. The weird thing is that this was done so readily, when it was SO important as to be the only requirement to be in bolded red.

The person has not directly addressed any of my challenges to the recommendations (shitty to women and men, making CB use dirty/secret, asking for study like you recommended, etc) , instead preferring to send a brief notice that all mention of it has been deleted from the website, along with an invitation:

"I would be most appreciative if you find anything in the FemCap web site that is even remotely condescending to women or partners."

Posts: 4636 | From: USA/Northern Europe | Registered: Oct 2005  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Heather
Executive Director & Founder
Member # 3

Icon 1 posted      Profile for Heather     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Hey, though: how fantastic to get a change so quickly! Count your blessings, gal: activism rarely delivers the goods so quickly. [Smile]

I agree though, the responses are odd. So is the domain registration information for that URL: http://www.whois.net/whois/femcap.com

Are you sure this is the manufacturer's site?

--------------------
Heather Corinna, Executive Director & Founder, Scarleteen
About Me Get our book!
Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has. - Margaret Mead

Posts: 68290 | From: An island near Seattle | Registered: May 2000  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
-Lauren-
Activist
Member # 25983

Icon 1 posted      Profile for -Lauren-     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Oh yeah, definitely glad it's changed so it doesn't have to put off potential users!

This is the manufacturer's/marketer's site for certain. I can find no other official type website for it, and the device has been ordered from there by a few women. By both phone and email the person identifies himself as Dr. Shihata, who owns the FemCap company and is turning up for me in the WhoIs.

I don't understand why the WhoIs information is weird.. I've never tried to decipher use it for any reason. Would you mind elaborating? [Smile]

Posts: 4636 | From: USA/Northern Europe | Registered: Oct 2005  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
   

  New Poll   Close Topic   Feature Topic   Move Topic   Delete Topic next oldest topic   next newest topic
 - Printer-friendly view of this topic
Hop To:


Contact Us | Get the Whole Story! Go Home to SCARLETEEN: Sex Ed for the Real World | Privacy Statement

Copyright 1998, 2014 Heather Corinna/Scarleteen
Scarleteen.com: Providing comprehensive sex education online to teens and young adults worldwide since 1998

Information on this site is provided for educational purposes. It is not meant to and cannot substitute for advice or care provided by an in-person medical professional. The information contained herein is not meant to be used to diagnose or treat a health problem or disease, or for prescribing any medication. You should always consult your own healthcare provider if you have a health problem or medical condition.

Powered by UBB.classic™ 6.7.3