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Zimbabwe National Family Planning Council (ZNFPC) has expressed concern at the continued resistance by most women to use the female condom. Statistics availed by ZNFPC revealed that in every 40 male condoms used, there is only one femidom.
ZNFPC marketing and communications manager Simon Chikwizo said the statistics were worrying.
“The ratio of male condom uptake against the femidom is between 30 to 40 against one. This is a confirmation that women are reluctant to use the femidom,” Chikwizo said.
He attributed the poor femidom uptake to a number of myths.
Chikwizo said some people held the belief that the femidom was meant for sex workers while others said they were not user-friendly especially when being inserted.
“There’re others who say the female condom is too big but all these myths and misconceptions are unfounded,” he said.
Chikwizo said the femidom was more user-friendly and had many advantages over the male condom.
“The femidom adapts to the temperature of the female organ and makes sexual intercourse feel very natural as if there’s no condom.
“The femidom is even stronger than the male condom because of the material used to manufacture it. A female can insert the femidom for a period of up to three hours before having sexual intercourse. This doesn’t mean one can’t insert it a few minutes before the activity,” Chikwizo said.
He challenged condom manufacturers to produce a variety of flavours of the female condom.
Chikwizo said there was also need to enhance the marketing of the female condom in much the same way as the male condom.
“The female condom was introduced recently and it’s still in its infancy. There’re also no varieties of female condoms as is the case with the male condom. More strategies must be employed to market the female condom in Zimbabwe,” he said.
A survey carried out by The Chronicle recently revealed that a number of women were still to appreciate the value of the female condom in their sexual lives.
They said they needed more literature and lectures on how to use the femidom.
Said Charlene Moyo: “I can’t properly use the femidom as it’s not easy to insert.
“I once tried to use the femidom but I went through hard times inserting it. Also, women who use or carry the femidom are labelled loose”.