June 21st, 2010
11:14 AM ET

South African doctor invents female condoms with 'teeth' to fight rape

Faith Karimi

[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2010/WORLD/africa/06/20/south.africa.female.condom/story.rape.condom.jpg caption="Dr. Sonnet Ehlers shows a spiked female condom, whose hooks she says stick on a man during rape." width=300 height=169]

(CNN) - South African Dr. Sonnet Ehlers was on call one night four decades ago when a devastated rape victim walked in. Her eyes were lifeless; she was like a breathing corpse.

"She looked at me and said, 'If only I had teeth down there,'" recalled Ehlers, who was a 20-year-old medical researcher at the time. "I promised her I'd do something to help people like her one day."

Forty years later, Rape-aXe was born.

Ehlers is distributing the female condoms in the various South African cities where the World Cup soccer games are taking place.

The woman inserts the latex condom like a tampon. Jagged rows of teeth-like hooks line its inside and attach on a man's penis during penetration, Ehlers said.

Once it lodges, only a doctor can remove it - a procedure Ehlers hopes will be done with authorities on standby to make an arrest.

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