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Sex Transm Dis. 2003 May;30(5):433-9.

Use-effectiveness of the female versus male condom in preventing sexually transmitted disease in women.

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Philadelphia Department of Public Health, Medical College of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA.



Data are limited on the female condom's effectiveness against STDs.


The goal was to compare STD rates between women given small-group education on, and free supplies of, either female or male condoms.


Female patients at an STD clinic (n = 1442) were randomly assigned to condom type and followed via medical records for STDs (gonorrhea, chlamydia, early syphilis, or trichomoniasis).


In an intention-to-treat analysis, the odds ratio for a comparison of STD occurrence between the female and male condom groups was 0.75 (95% confidence interval [CI], 0.56-1.01), and it did not change with adjustment. In a second analysis among women returning for subsequent screening, incidence rates for the first new postintervention STD per 100 woman-months of observation were 6.8 in the female condom group and 8.5 in the male condom group (rate ratio = 0.79 [CI, 0.59-1.06]).


Compared with those provided with male condoms alone, women counseled on, and provided with, female condoms fared no worse and experienced a nonsignificant reduction in STDs.

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