Female Condom

The female condom is a soft, loose-fitting polyurethane sheath that lines the vagina. It has an inner ring that goes to the back of the vagina, and an outer ring that stays outside the vagina, and partly covers the genital area.

How does it work?

  • It works by blocking sperm from entering the vagina and trapping it inside the condom, until it is removed carefully from the vagina.

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How effective is it?

  • If used correctly, the female condom can be from 79 to 97% effective in preventing pregnancy.
  • Like the male condom, the female condom provides good protection against sexually transmitted infections (STIs) , and it also covers the outer genital area, which means even better protection.

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How do I use it?

  • The female condom can be inserted up to 8 hours before sex (vaginal or anal).
  • The inner ring of the condom, which is the closed end, must be pushed into the vagina, as far as it will go. The outer ring then rests against the outer genital area of the vagina.
  • The penis must enter the vagina through the outer ring, and into the female condom.
  • To remove the female condom, (preferably before standing up), squeeze and twist the outer ring to keep the sperm inside the condom. Then pull out gently and throw away.

Instructions - How to insert a female condom

Diagram showing how to insert a female condom

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Where can I get the female condom?

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Who can use this?

  • The female wears this type of condom.
  • People who are latex sensitive can use it, since it is made of polyurethane.

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What are the advantages and disadvantages to using a female condom?

Advantages

  • Can be used and controlled by the woman.
  • Does not involve the use of hormones.
  • Made of polyurethane---can be used by people who have latex allergies.
  • Protects against  sexually transmitted infections (STIs) .
  • When the outside ring rubs against a woman's clitoris, she may have more frequent or intense orgasms.

Disadvantages

  • May be awkward to insert at first.
  • May be noisy during intercourse (add more lubricant to reduce noise).
  • Outer rim may slip into vagina during intercourse making condom difficult to retrieve.
  • Can break if not properly lubricated.
  • New condom must be used with each act of intercourse.
  • May reduce sensation during sex (vaginal or anal).
  • Sexual activity may be interrupted.

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