New contraception 'seals tip of penis shut'
A new product is being developed that will seal the tip of a man's penis shut during sex. Jiftip the Diktip is a sticker that covers the urethra, stopping semen and urine from being released. Despite only being in the testing phases of development, it has already been stirring up some controversy.
The idea behind the Jiftip is that it is an adhesive and flexible sticker that can be put in place on the end of a penis to make sex less messy. It's made from a similar material to female condoms and has a special adhesive layer that is used for some strong skin bandages.
When the sticker is in place, it stops semen from escaping when ejaculation occurs and instead causes retrograde ejaculation - or a dry orgasm - where the semen is redirected to the urinary bladder. However, according to the company making the Jiftip, it isn't designed to stop pregnancy.
This means that you may find you aren't as protected as you thought, especially as the entire penis isn't covered like it is with a condom. Not only does this increase the chances of semen escaping, resulting in pregnancy, it also doesn't offer full protection from sexually transmitted infections (STIs).
While a number of STIs are spread by sexual fluids, others - such as genital warts and herpes - can be spread by physical contact, meaning you're still putting yourself and your partner at risk of contracting an infection.
On top of this, there is the awkward question of what happens if the Jiftip does manage to come unstuck during sex. As condoms can come off and break during intercourse, it stands to reason that the same could happen to something that is only stuck over the end of a penis.
Although the product is not yet available and is undergoing 'beta testing', it's probably a good idea to stick with condoms to ensure you're fully protected from STIs and unplanned pregnancy.