A Malaysian gynecologist has revealed the Wondaleaf Uni Condom, said to be the world's first condom that can be worn by people with either a penis or a vagina. He hopes that his novel invention could help to revolutionize sexual health and provide would-be sex havers with more flexible contraceptive options.
The Wondaleaf Uni Condom consists of a transparent film that either wraps around the penis or is placed inside the vagina, gently fixed in place with an adhesive film that sticks to the pubic area. Creating a fluid-proof barrier, it works just like a conventional condom by preventing the exchange of bodily fluids and direct skin contact during sex, reducing the risk of transmitting STIs and pregnancy.
"It's basically a regular condom with an adhesive covering," Dr John Tang Ing Chinh, a gynecologist at medical supplies firm Twin Catalyst and inventor of the Wondaleaf Unisex Condom, told Reuters.
"It's a condom with an adhesive covering that attaches to the vagina or penis, as well as covering the adjacent area for extra protection," he adds.
The unisex condom is made out of polyurethane, meaning it is safe for people with latex allergies, plus there’s no rubbery smell and taste. The team also worked to make the material as thin as possible — just 0.03 millimeter thick — to avoid the loss of sensation. Wondaleaf also claims that the adhesive film isn’t too painful to remove from the skin, although it might be more comfortable for people who remove their pubic hair.
The unisex condom has been through a number of small clinical trials that showed that both men and women found they performed similarly to or better than traditional condoms, noting that it broke, slipped off, or failed significantly less. The studies also showed that the majority of both men and women had a preference for using the unisex condom over a female condom.
The condoms can only be purchased and distributed in Malaysia for the time being as condoms have to pass rigorous standards checks for each country. However, the company hopes to make them available to the international market in due course.
"Based on the number of clinical trials we have conducted, I am quite optimistic that given time it will be a meaningful addition to the many contraceptive methods used in the prevention of unintended pregnancies and sexually transmitted diseases," said Tang.