- Female condoms are approximately 75%-82% effective in preventing pregnancy and STDs.
- Male condoms are more effective than female condoms
- DON'T use female condoms with a male condom.
What is the female condom?
The female condom is a lubricated sheath worn by the female inside of her vagina during sex. There are two types: the original FC1 is made of polyurethane, a type of plastic, and the new one FC2 is made of nitrile, a type of synthetic rubber that is latex-free. The female condom acts as a barrier to sperm and many sexually transmitted infections by completely lining the vagina. The female condom has a ring at each end. One ring, at the closed end of the sheath, lies inside the vagina. The other ring, at the open end of the sheath, lies outside the vagina after the female condom has been inserted. The female condom provides protection against pregnancy and some protection against STDs.
|Out of 100 women using a female condom|
|Typical use: 21 women become pregnant|
|Perfect use: 5 women become pregnant|
Where can I get the female condom?
You can get the FC1 female condom without a prescription in drugstores and supermarkets. The female condom comes in only one size. A FC1 condom costs between $2.50 and $4; the new FC2 will cost much less.
What if I need more lubrication?
The female condom is already lubricated when you buy it, and it comes with an extra bottle of nonspermicidal lubricant. If you need more lubrication, you can use a vaginal lubricant, such as K-Y Jelly, on the inside of the female condom or on the penis.
How effective is the female condom?
If women use the female condom every time they have sexual intercourse and follow instructions every time, it is 95% effective. This means that if 100 women use the female condom all the time and always use it correctly, 5 women will become pregnant in a year.
Although it's obvious that the female condom is most effective against pregnancy when it is used all the time and always used correctly, perfect use hardly ever happens. If women use the female condoms, but not perfectly, it is 79% effective. This means that if 100 women use the female condom, 21 or more women will become pregnant in a year.
How do you use the female condom?
The female condom can be inserted well before penetration. Wash your hands first and find a comfortable position, perhaps squatting with knees apart or lying down with legs bent and knees apart. Hold the female condom so that the open end is hanging down. Squeeze the inner ring with your thumb and middle finger.
Insert the inner ring and pouch inside of your vaginal opening. With your index finger, push the inner ring with the pouch way up into your vagina, so that the inner ring is up past your pubic bone. You can feel your pubic bone by curving your finger towards your front when it is a couple of inches inside of your vagina. This may take some time, because the female condom is slippery because of the lubrication. Just go slowly and be patient. Make sure the female condom is not twisted at all. The outside ring of the female condom should lie against the outer lips of your vagina. About one inch of it should be outside of your body.
You need to guide the male's penis into the female condom so that it doesn't enter the vagina during sex. Once the penis enters the female condom inside your vagina, the vagina will expand and the condom will fit better.
After intercourse, the male does not need to withdraw immediately. To remove the female condom after intercourse, squeeze and twist the outer ring gently to keep the sperm inside the pouch. Pull the female condom out gently and throw it away in a waste container. Don't flush it, and don't reuse it!
What if the female condom slips our of place during intercourse?
Stop intercourse immediately! Take the female condom out carefully, so that the sperm stay inside the pouch. Use a new female condom if you continue having sexual intercourse. Add extra lubricant to the opening of the pouch or on the penis and then insert the new female condom. Contact your health care provider and discuss emergency contraception.
Are there any complaints about the female condom?
Some women complain that the sheath moves, or is noisy or uncomfortable. The new FC2 condom is much quieter.
Can I use a male condom with the female condom?
No. You should never use a male condom at the same time that you are using a female condom!
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