What is a female condom and how is it used?

What is a Female Condom?

A female condom or femidom is a flexible pouch that is inserted into the vagina or anus before sex.

They can help prevent pregnancy and sexually transmitted diseases.

During intercourse, a thin silicone-coated, polyurethane or nitrile sheath collects the ejaculated semen.

The female condom looks different from the male condom. Female condoms are bags with a soft, flexible ring on both ends.

When used correctly, they are 95 percent effective at preventing pregnancy compared to male condoms which are 99% effective.

Fast facts on the female condom:

  • When used correctly, a female condom is 95 percent effective.
  • Female condoms generally do not contain latex.
  • They protect a larger area of ​​the body from male condoms.
  • Female condoms can usually be purchased from pharmacies.
  • A private consultation with your doctor is generally not necessary.
  • Do not use oil-based lubricants with female condoms.

Do Female Condoms Work?

For a female condom to be effective in preventing pregnancy, it must be used correctly.

Female condoms are 95 percent effective in preventing pregnancy when used correctly, with a 5 percent failure rate.

However, statistics show that they are 79 percent effective due to misuse. Every year, 21 women become pregnant for every 100 people who use female condoms.

Male condoms are 99 percent effective. However, this rate decreases to 85% due to misuse.

It is important to follow the instructions when using any condom.

How to Put on a Female Condom?

What are the Advantages of Female Condoms?

The female condom can be a good method of contraception for the following reasons:

  • Safe, simple and convenient
  • female controlled
  • Can be used during menstrual period
  • Can be used with spermicide
  • Can be added up to 8 hours in advance or as part of sexual foreplay
  • Can be used by people with latex allergies
  • Can be used with silicone and water-based lubricants
  • Does not affect the hormones of the woman using it
  • Does not require a male erection to hold it in place
  • The outer ring may increase clitoral stimulation in some women.

The device also covers a larger area than the male condom. In this way, it can provide extra protection for the labia, perineum and base of the penis from disease.

This can reduce the risk of human papillomavirus (HPV) and herpes.

What Are the Possible Disadvantages of the Female Condom?

There are some drawbacks to using the device.

It can lead to:

  • Vaginal, vulvar, anal, or penile irritation
  • allergic reaction
  • vaginal discomfort

Other problems are as follows:

  • It can also slip into the vagina or anus during intercourse.
  • The sexual sensation may be reduced and there may be noise during sex.
  • It is less cautious than other birth control methods.
  • They are more expensive than male condoms and can be difficult to find.

Reasons to be careful include:

It has a lower effectiveness rate than other non-blocking methods.

  • Not approved for anal intercourse
  • Each female condom can only be used once.
  • More research is needed on how effective it is in protecting against sexually transmitted diseases (STIs).
  • You have to learn how to use it properly.
  • When used correctly, female condoms offer some protection from sexually transmitted infections (STIs), but they must be used correctly. Not approved for anal sex.

Tips for Using Female Condoms

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) offers some tips for safe and effective use.

These include:

  • Reading package directions and checking expiration date
  • Storing condoms in a cool, dry place
  • Checking the condom for tears and imperfections before use
  • Using a lubricant to prevent slipping and tearing
  • Using a female condom all the way through during sex

Never do the following:

  • Never use a female condom as a male condom as the products may tear.
  • Never reuse a female condom.
  • Never wash condoms as they can clog drains and cause environmental damage.

MedicalNewsToday, What are female condoms and how are they used?, 2017


Choosing a birth control method: Female condom. (2016, April 6). Retrieved from http://www.arhp.org/Publications-and-Resources/Quick-Reference-Guide-for-Clinicians/choosing/Female-condom

female condom (2016, April 6). Retrieved from https://www.plannedparenthood.org/learn/birth-control/female-condom

Female condom fact sheet. (2016, April 6). Retrieved from http://www.hhs.gov/opa/reproductive-health/contraception/female-condom/

Kempner, M. (2017, June 9). HIV prevention resource center. Retrieved from http://www.thebody.com/content/80020/female-condoms-used-by-women-and-men-for-hiv-preve.html

How do I buy female condoms? (n.d.). Retrieved from https://www.plannedparenthood.org/learn/birth-control/female-condom/how-do-i-buy-female-condoms

How do I use a female condom? (n.d.). Retrieved from https://www.plannedparenthood.org/learn/birth-control/female-condom/how-do-i-use-a-female-condom

How effective are condoms against pregnancy? (n.d.). Retrieved from https://www.plannedparenthood.org/learn/birth-control/condom/how-effective-are-condoms

Our bodies, ourselves birth control contributors. (2012, May 3). female condoms. Retrieved from http://www.ourbodiesourselves.org/health-info/the-female-condom/

Summary of safety and effectiveness data. (2009, March 10). Retrieved from https://www.accessdata.fda.gov/cdrh_docs/pdf8/P080002b.pdf

The right way to use a female condom. (2016, November 18). Retrieved from https://www.cdc.gov/condomeffectiveness/Female-condom-use.html

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