What is a Female Condom?
The female condom helps protect against pregnancy and sexually transmitted infections including HIV. A female condom is a thin, loose-fitting and flexible plastic tube worn inside the vagina. A female condom provides a barrier between partners to prevent sharing bodily fluids like semen, blood, or saliva. Female condoms are 79-95% effective
How to Use
Female condoms can be inserted up to 8 hours before intercourse and are only effective when placed in the vagina prior to sex. At first, female condoms can be awkward to use, but become easier with practice. Take your time and try inserting the condom before sexual play. You can stand with one foot up on a chair, sit with your knees apart, or lie down. Lubrication can help keep the condom in place and lessen noise during intercourse. Adding spermicide before or after insertion can reduce the risk of pregnancy.
To insert the condom, squeeze the ring at the closed end of the tube. Use one hand to spread the outer lips, and insert the squeezed condom into the vagina. The inner ring should be pushed just past the pubic bone and over the neck of the womb (cervix).
After insertion, make sure the condom is not twisted. About one inch of the open end will stay outside the body. The outer ring of the female condom will need to be held in place when penetration takes place. After intercourse, twist the outer ring to keep all fluids inside the condom. Gently pull it out, place in a tissue and discard in bin (not in toilet).
There are no physical side effects associated with the use of female condoms. However, there is a chance that a female condom could break or slip during sex. If this occurs, women may consider taking emergency contraception
Female condoms may not be as readily available as male condoms but you should still be able to get them free from contraception & sexual health services and from your GP. They are non-latex and are an alternative to non-latex male condoms for those with latex allergy.
- Prevents the spread of sexually transmitted infection Protects the vagina and vulva.
- Does not reduce a male partner's stimulation.
- No hormonal side effects.
- Can be used by people with latex sensitivities.
- Prelubricated and can be used with oil and water-based lubricants.
- Can be inserted before foreplay begins.
- Insertion can be part of foreplay.
- Erection not necessary to keep condom in place.
- Does not affect future fertility.
- Noticeable during sex.
- Sometimes difficult to insert or use.
- Does not contain spermicide.
- Can break or leak.
- About three times more expensive than male condoms.