“In most cases with the male condom women have to negotiate (use), but this female condom has empowered us,” says Ndlhovu, who adds that the female condom has put a bit of spice and intrigue into the bedroom. “I find that more and more women are using it.”
“My man gets very excited when he feels the texture of the ring inside me,” says the 49-year-old woman who is a coordinator with the Positive Women’s Network, which works with women on issues related to HIV, and sexual and reproductive health. Her work means that she spends most of her time educating women about safe sex.
She encourages women to use the female condom to protect themselves against sexually transmitted infections and unwanted pregnancies – a message she hopes will spread across the country during this week.
With the female condom, women can control how many children they have and take charge of their futures, she told Health-e News.
“All it takes is using a female condom to prevent all these things,” she adds. “It’s time we took ownership and responsibility for our lives.”
Coming from a community where alcohol abuse is high, Ndlhovu believes the female condom can help protect women in a way that the male condom can’t.
“We all know that when one is under the influence you do things that you often regret,” she explains. “When you know you drink at taverns etcetera, you can easily insert your condom before you leave your house – then you know you are protected even (during a) possible rape.”
She added that the new version of the female condom is more comfortable than previous models and is user-friend. She has encouraged all women to try it.
An edited version of this article was first published in the 19 September edition of The Daily Sun newspaper.