What is Lorals? FDA approves vanilla-flavored underwear for protection against STDs during oral sex

Until now, the only FDA-approved device for protection during oral intercourse was a dental dam, a thin sheet of latex polyurethane held in place with hands to establish a barrier between the mouth and genitals


                            What is Lorals? FDA approves vanilla-flavored underwear for protection against STDs during oral sex
FDA approved Lorals underwear to protect against STDs during oral sex (Lorals & Sarah Silbiger/Getty Images

The US Food and Drug Administration has authorized the first underwear designed to protect against sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) during oral sex. Lorals, the brand which got the FDA approval on Thursday, May 12, comes in bikinis and shorties and is composed of vanilla-flavored latex that is roughly as thin as condom material and forms a seal on the inside of the thigh to keep fluids in, according to designer Melanie Cristol. Moreover, like a condom, they are only to be used once.

According to the New York Times, until today, the only FDA-approved device for protection during oral intercourse was a dental dam, a thin sheet of latex polyurethane held in place with hands to establish a barrier between the mouth and genitals. The FDA has also approved two new dental dam firms in the last year, indicating rising customer interest. Although, many women said they didn't want to use dental dams in a 2019 interview with Women of Wearables because they were unattractive items to wear. According to Cristol, she has been working on the product since 2015. It was initially introduced on the market in 2018. The product sales top the tens of thousands every month, and it is purchased in all 50 US states and in 60 countries.

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The FDA did not need human clinical trials for Lorals' clearance, but it did want paperwork about thickness, flexibility, strength, and other factors, as it does with condoms, according to the New York Times. Courtney Lias, head of the FDA office that conducted the underwear evaluation, told the portal, "The FDA's authorization of this product gives people another option to protect against STIs during oral sex.” Dr Jeanne Marrazzo, director of the University of Alabama at Birmingham's division of infectious diseases, told the NYTimes, "Oral sex is not totally risk-free. There's a growing need for such protection because more teenagers are initiating their first sexual activity with oral sex.” 

Lorals is the first-ever underwear to get FDA approval for oral sex protection. (Photo by Lorals)

 

Marrazzo also noted that providing pleasurable protection might lower fear and improve enjoyment surrounding that specific activity for people of all ages. According to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, infections including herpes, gonorrhea, HPV, HIV, and syphilis can be spread during oral sex.  HPV and HIV can be particularly dangerous as they can cause serious nervous system problems, infertility, chronic discomfort, and even death if left untreated. Cervical cancer is caused by the human papillomavirus (HPV), which kills over 4,000 American women each year. If left untreated, HIV infection is incurable and can progress to full-blown AIDS.

According to Lorals developer, the product sales top the tens of thousands every month, and it is purchased in all 50 U.S. states and in 60 countries.(Photo by Lorals)