The FC is an effective strategy against STIs in susceptible women and men who have sex with men. FCs are the only female-initiated dual protection method that protects against both STIs and unintended pregnancy. As HCPs are a vital element in promoting contraceptive use, it is essential to examine attitudes towards FCs among this group. Study participants: 15 male and female HCPs aged between 22 and 57 years recruited from sexual and reproductive health settings located in Brighton, London, and Glasgow.
Purposive sampling with targeted advertisements. Study design: face-to-face and telephone interviews with sexual health HCPs. Primary outcome measure: potential barriers and facilitators to FCs in the UK.
FCs were thought to be unacceptable to most women due to stigma, design, negative visual appeal, insertion difficulties, and lack of familiarity. The perceived unavailability and higher cost of FCs, in comparison to male condoms, are significant barriers to their use.
HCPs are reluctant to promote FCs, often due to the perceived social stigma surrounding FCs. Further education and promotion are needed to increase acceptability and correct usage. Future research needs to explore strategies to increase the acceptability of FCs among women, men who have sex with men, and HCPs.