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Female condom tested.

Female Condom Tested

MILWAUKEE - The "female condom" - a cross between a condom and a diaphragm - began clinical testing in the United States in March.

The latest in barrier contraceptives, it is being touted as more natural than a condom while incorporating functions of both birth control and prevention of sexually transmitted disease (STD).

The device, which is inserted into the vagina, is basically a polyurethane sheath that hugs the contours of the vaginal wall. It is anchored into the end of the vagina near the cervix by a flexible polyurethane ring surrounding the closed tip. The open entry to the device remains outside the vagina covering the labia.

Developed by a Danish gynecologist and his wife, it has been tested in Europe. Wisconsin Pharmacal Company of Jackson, Wis., a privately owned firm, has the exclusive manufacturing and marketing rights for the United States.

Promoters of the device said one advantage is that unlike the diaphragm, the disposable device does not need to be custom fitted. One size fits all. It is not necessary to use a spermicide with the device, although a lubricant is necessary for insertion, said Mary Ann Leeper, head of the development team in the United States and an investor in Pharmacal.

She said the product will be submitted to the FDA for approval following the first phase of clinical testing, which will determine whether the device stays in place and does not rip or tear. Testing will be done at about 10 sites nationwide.

"Women are already buying half of all male condoms sold today," Ms. Leeper said. "Our product gives women the chance to control contraception and to reduce the chances of contracting such STDs as herpes, gonorrhea, syphilis, chlamydia, and AIDS."
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Publication:Nutrition Health Review
Date:Jun 22, 1989
Words:287
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