The FDA (Food and Drug Administration) has decided that it will approve the use of a highly revised version of the female condom and will allow it to be sold in continental America.
This is also likely to lead to rapid approval and sales across the globe. The institutions advisory panel had backed the contraceptive in a decision they announced at the end of 2008.
But it was not until this week that the FDA finally accepted that the new female condom produced by the Chicago-based Female Health Company should go on general sale.
Although this is not actually a new device, this version has several significant differences, the main one being that it is far cheaper to produce and sell because instead of being made of polyurethane as the old version was, the new condom is made from a form of synthetic rubber.
Working in the exact opposite fashion to the male condom, the woman inserts the female condom well into the vagina providing an internal shield against conception and sexually transmitted diseases such as HIV infection.
The FDA said that they consider that the new version is equally as effective as the previous variant. As far as the producers are concerned, its main advantage for women will be cost.
The old version sold at around $2.75 the new variant will sell at a considerably lower price somewhere around $1.15. This may actually prove to be more of a benefit for women outside of the US where contraception costs are often prohibitive for women in poorer countries.
The obvious other advantage is that women will be in more direct control of the situation especially in regard to the possibility of contracting HIV.