Like male condoms, female condoms also act as barrier methods
for sperm into vagina. Female condoms are made of polyurethane, a sheath with
two soft, flexible rings at either end. One ring covers the cervix and acts as
an anchor for the condom whereas the second ring is the larger remains outside
the body and covers the part of the perineum and labia during intercourse. It
is worn by women internally before sex. It must be used only once during each
sexual activity. It can be inserted as much as eight hours prior to sexual activity
but it should be removed immediately after sex occurs. Female condoms should not
be used with male condoms because both the condoms can stick together and chances
are that they may tear. If condom to be used anyway during sexual activity, it
is much advisable for male partner to use latex condoms, which will be more protective
and safer than female condoms.
How to use female condom? Watch
condoms found to be having few disadvantages compared to male condoms. The main
problem faced is the placement of using it as it is found to be difficult inserting
it, it may shift or slip into vagina during sex. Some have reported irritation
whereas outer ring in the female condom makes sex less comfortable. It may produce
unpleasant noise during the intercourse due to less lubricant. Therefore, new
female condoms are available with sufficient lubricants with silicon and additional
packets of lubricants. Moreover, it is costlier than male condom.
advantage is that it covers the larger part of the vagina and part of the body
thus protecting women from STDs and HIV though it is yet to be established. Due
to this fact, female condom is widely used in some part of the African subcontinent.
Female condom was first approved by FDA in 1993. Its effectiveness is estimated
to be 79% compared to upto 90% from male condoms.
Stacey is an independent Licensed Mental Health Counselor and former Planned Parenthood
employee. She is also
associated with MyBirthControlStore.com and provides her excellent inputs on women
health realted issues, particularly on birth control.
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as a substitute for the medical advice provided by your medical
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