Science is always bringing us new, fun things to keep us safe. Yesterday, it was anti-date rape drinkware. Today, we’re presented with the development of a new condom that dissolves and delivers both anti-STD and contraceptive medicines — via dissolution.
“These contraceptives made from a nanofabric born through a process called electrospinning, or creating fibers from liquid inside of an electric field. It’s apparently easy to control variables like strength, solubility, and shape with the resulting material, so antiretrovirals can be added to the condom. It could be slappped onto existing contraceptives or directly inserted into the body, like a vaginal ring. And it’s the first of its kind.”
Plus, cloth-like fibers can be woven to act as an incredibly thin “web” that keeps out STIs and sperm. Double whammy! And UW professor Kim Woodrow makes it sound so close:
“Our dream is to create a product women can use to protect themselves from HIV infection and unintended pregnancy. We have the drugs to do that. It’s really about delivering them in a way that makes them more potent, and allows a woman to want to use it.”
Now, throughout my adult life, I have made it an unspoken rule to not put anything suspiciously dissolvable into my vagina, a self-guidance that many people may share. Shit, we’re still terrified at idea of stuff “getting up around the sides” (thanks, Girls, for my infinite paranoia now). Perhaps, then, you can see why I am apprehensive towards the idea of a condom that science has created to eventually dissolve. Condoms are supposed to be impermeable! Not share qualities with a breath strip!
Nevertheless, I trust science. This new condom sounds peculiarly wonderful, and like it could positively affect a lot of lives — whether by preventing unplanned pregnancies for those who can’t afford children or protecting users from dangerous diseases. Kudos, science! And I would definitely buy a Costco-sized box of these if I knew that it would help me stay baby- and STD-free for a long, long time. Until then, however…