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Acceptability of the female condom in different groups Of women in South Africa-A Multicentred study to inform the national female condom introductory strategy

M E Beksinska
V H Rees
J A Mcintyre
D Wilkinson


Objectives. To assess the acceptability of the female condom to different groups of women and their partners in South Africa.

Design. Descriptive, cross-sectional study.

Setting. Multicentre study conducted in five sites.

Subjects. The study recruited 678 women from five centres to an acceptability trial of the female condom. Acceptability and successful use varied between the centres. 

Outcome measures. Factors affecting successful use and willingness and intention to use the method again.

Results. In total, 209 women used the condom at least once. Discontinuation rates were high, with partner reluctance to try the method as the main reason given for discontinuation at all sites. Women who had previous experience with the male condom or who received a more intensive training session generally found the device easier to use. The main issues concerning women were over-lubrication (27%) and concern that the device was too large (28%). The majority of women said that they would be interested in using the method again (86%) and would recommend it to friends (95%).

Conclusions. Overcoming partner opposition is an important issue to address when introducing the method. The study was used to address the national introductory strategy of the female condom, which began in 1998.

Journal Identifiers

eISSN: 2078-5135
print ISSN: 0256-9574