"World's first" unisex condom created by Wondaleaf
Malaysian gynaecologist John Tang has created a condom made from polyurethane that can be worn by both males and females during sex.
The Wondaleaf Unisex Condom can be worn internally or externally by males and females thanks to a sticky thermoplastic adhesive sheet along one side of the condom. The unisex design has been billed by the gynaecologist as a "world first".
It can be attached to the base of a penis and worn externally like a traditional condom. Alternatively, it can be flipped inside out, stuck around a vagina and inserted inside.
The condom itself is made from transparent polyurethane, which is commonly used for wound dressings. The material is just 0.03 millimetres thick.
Tang, who founded Twin Catalyst Sdn Bhd, the company that manufactures Wondaleaf products, designed the condom after noticing that many of his patients were having trouble finding adequate contraception.
He hopes that the unisex condom will provide "non-discriminating universal empowerment" for users.
"Day in day out I am confronted with patients suffering from the side effects of contraceptive methods," Tang told Dezeen.
"We really want to change that," he added. "Perhaps by providing universal empowerment and comprehensive dual protections, Wondaleaf unisex condom will be able to help broaden our conversation on this dilemma."
The unisex condom was designed to offer users more protection from sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) than existing condoms as the adhesive flaps cover a wider surface area around the genitals.
"Wondaleaf Unisex Condom is basically a regular condom with an extra adhesive shield that provides an attachment means for the condom while at the same time covers the adjacent areas for extra protection," Tang said.
The gynaecologist also claims that the condom is less likely to "slip off" during sexual activities as it is quite literally stuck to the wearer's skin.
Additional benefits of the condom include that it is safe for those with latex allergies as unlike most condoms it is not made from latex.
According to Tang, developing the Wondaleaf Unisex Condom proved to be a more complex task than originally thought. The designer had to consider how to make a condom that was both easy to manufacture and comfortable for the wearer.
"It needs to be thin, soft, flexible, tough, waterproof and the greatest difficulty of all, to create a non-adhesive third dimension pouch with an integral adhesive shield extending out perpendicularly from the open end of the pouch," he explained.
"The adhesive portion of the unisex condom must be well covered before deployment, and during deployment, it should duly stick to the perineum without wrinkles and not sticking onto itself."
Each Wondaleaf packet comes with two condoms. It is currently available online for Malaysian customers and will be launched internationally later this month following further regulatory approval.
This isn't the first product that aims to improve the experience of using contraception. Scientists at the University of Manchester combined latex with graphene to create a "more pleasurable," condom.
British designer Ben Pawle developed a condom wrapper for people with disabilities that can be opened with a simple finger-clicking action.