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Female Condoms

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Female condoms are contraceptive measures to prevent pregnancy. A woman can wear this contraceptive device before having sexual intercourse to protect herself from pregnancy as well as from contracting STDs.

How does it look like?

Female condoms are readily available in medical shops and online stores. It’s a pouch (resembling a male condom) made up of thin and soft plastic called polyurethane. The condom has flexible rings attached at both the ends to provide better grip inside the vagina.

How does it work?

The inside of the vagina gets covered after a woman slips it inside her. During intercourse and after ejaculation, the sperm as well as the semen get collected in the pouch and cannot swim further to the egg. This way fertilization is avoided and hence a woman becomes pregnancy proof.

Apart from this, since the vagina and the cervical mucus cannot come in contact with the penis and its secretions, a couple is substantially protected against STDs and STIs

How to use?

  • First read the instructions given on the pack and follow it. Check the expiry date of the condom
  • Take out the condom carefully without puncturing it. So avoid touching it with your teeth or nails
  • You can do some preparations- lubricate your vagina with water or oil based lubricants that do not damage the condom. Additionally you can apply a spermicide on the closed end of the condom.
  • Squeeze the ring gently at the closed end of the condom to make it long and narrow. Then insert it in your vagina. Give a mild push to the ring with your index finger so that it’s tucked properly in the cervix. Make sure it doesn’t twist.
  • Take out your finger and let the outer ring remain about an inch or two outside your vagina.
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  • Make sure the penis gets its way comfortably through the condom and does not come in contact with the outer lining of the condom.
  • The outer ring must remain outside the vagina throughout intercourse, until ejaculation. Make adjustment if you feel the penis is slipping out from the condom during the process.
  • Twist the outer ring gently to pull out the condom. Do it carefully to avoid spillage of semen in your vagina.
  • Wrap it in a paper or tissue and discard it in a trash bin. Do not flush.

How effective it is?

If you follow the right procedure of using it, then it is 95% effective. Failing to wear it properly or using the same condom that has been accidently punctured or have caused semen leakage can lead to pregnancy.

Advantages of using female condoms

  • It’s safe, effective and easy to use
  • Doesn’t require clinical visit
  • Women can use it independently without depending on her man
  • Offers protection to both the partners against STD and STI
  • Offers better coverage to the vagina than a male condom
  • Can be used during periods and after childbirth
  • Once placed correctly, it usually doesn’t slip
  • Women enjoy the sex stimulating action of the outer ring. This makes sex more pleasurable
  • People allergic to latex can use this alternative

Disadvantages of female condoms

  • Initially women may not like the feeling of wearing it as it hinders direct contact with the penis
  • It can slip off during sex if not tucked in properly
  • The outer ring hanging outside the vagina might be visually awkward
  • Although rare, it can cause irritation and itching in the vagina

Well, if you compare the pros with the cons, then the winner is the “pros”. Most women love to resort to wearing a condom as a part of safe sex technique.

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Written by: Saptakee sengupta
Date last updated: January 11, 2015