The promise of science and technology is it has the power to improve our everyday lives. That's what an innovative new self-lubricating condom may offer in bedrooms of the future.
Created by a team of scientists from Boston University the condoms are self-lubricating; that means they become slippery when in contact with moisture, bodily fluids—for example.
The university researchers believe their invention may assist in reducing sexually transmitted infections and unplanned pregnancies by increasing condom use precisely because they may be more tactile and offer the bonus of self-lubrication.
Reduced sensation or pain are commonly used as reasons why people don't use condoms. A study conducted by Indiana University in 2009 with around 2,500 women aged between 18 and 68 also found that 65.5 per cent of women found it more pleasurable to use lubricants during sex.
The Boston researchers carried out their own product study using a small test group of 33 subjects. Scientists assessed the performance of the new condoms under friction and then participants conducted “touch tests” comparing non-coated latex which had been lubricated by a personal lubricant, with the new self-lubricated latex.
73% of participants said they would prefer to use a condom with the self-lubricating latex and importantly, that it would increase their condom usage.
"The coating does not affect the strength of the latex, and the coating provides consistently low friction even when subjected to large volumes of water or 1000 cycles of articulation (thrusting motions)," the researchers who are backed by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, sai
“Such a coating shows potential to be an effective strategy for decreasing friction-associated pain, increasing user satisfaction and increasing condom usage,” they concluded.
Despite strong interest in the self-lubricating latex, the condoms can’t yet be tested during sexual intercourse as the product has not yet been approved by U.S. Food and Drug Administration. Researchers aim to begin a clinical trial in the near future.
However, don’t hold your breath… with clinical trials and FDA testing procedures, including a manufacturing facility audit, it may be five plus years before we see self-lubricating condoms on the market.
Meanwhile, remember if you find you suffer “rubber burns” or any other minor complications using condoms, the first course of action is to try using specifically-made lubricant.
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