Acceptability of the Woman's Condom in a phase III multicenter open-label study

Contraception. 2019 Jun;99(6):357-362. doi: 10.1016/j.contraception.2019.02.006. Epub 2019 Mar 6.


Objective: This study aimed to evaluate the acceptability of the Woman's Condom (WC) over 6 months (183 days) and ≥6 menstrual cycles in a US-based multicenter open-label phase III contraceptive efficacy trial.

Study design: We assessed acceptability via written questionnaire at visit 2 (after the third cycle) and visit 3 (after the sixth cycle or >183 days, or upon early discontinuation). Key domains included ease of use, comfort/lubrication, sexual satisfaction, male partner satisfaction and confidence in pregnancy and sexually transmitted infection (STI) prevention. We analyzed quantitative data using descriptive statistics. We conducted a content analysis to identify major themes from four open-ended questions.

Results: Most women [327/405 (81%)] had limited or no previous experience with female (internal) condoms. Of 405 evaluable women, 346 women completed questionnaires at visit 2 and 303 women at visit 3; 282 women attended both visits. Of women attending both visits, 165/282 (59%) reported at visit 2 that WC insertion was easy/very easy; this increased to 195/282 (69%) at visit 3 (p=.03). Many women [166/281 (59%)] preferred the WC [105/281 (37%)] or were neutral [61/281 (22%)], while 115/281 (41%) preferred male condoms. Women attending visit 3 felt confident that the WC could prevent pregnancy [246/303 (81%)] and STIs [217/303 (72%)]. Many women expressed empowerment with having control over their contraception; some disliked the design, esthetics and insertion process. Most women (254/299 (85%)] would recommend the WC to a friend.

Conclusion: The WC's acceptability and ease of use is promising for wider dissemination as a female-controlled method that can protect against both pregnancy and STIs.

Implications: The WC's overall acceptability and ease of use is promising for a new female-controlled barrier contraceptive option that can protect against both pregnancy and sexually transmitted infections.

Trial registration: NCT01223313.

Keywords: Acceptability; Barrier methods; Contraception; Female condom; Internal condom; Woman's Condom.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial, Phase III
  • Multicenter Study
  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Condoms, Female / statistics & numerical data*
  • Contraception Behavior
  • Family Planning Services
  • Female
  • Health Knowledge, Attitudes, Practice*
  • Humans
  • Patient Acceptance of Health Care / statistics & numerical data*
  • Pregnancy
  • Sexually Transmitted Diseases / prevention & control
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • United States
  • Women's Health
  • Young Adult

Associated data