Female Condoms: Top 12 Things You Should Know
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Female Condoms: Top 12 Things You Should Know

Lakshmi Devan
3 min read

Female Condoms: Top 12 Things You Should Know

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What do you know about female condoms? Did you know that female condoms exist? Do you know how they’re used? Well, in this article we are talking about the types of female condoms, how to use female condoms and so much more. Keep reading.

I’ve spent a significant portion of the last 3 years screaming, “Always have safe sex!” off the top of my lungs, but I suppose I should’ve been more specific. It doesn’t matter if you’re a man or woman; your safety against unwanted pregnancy and STDs like gonorrhoea and syphilis is now in your hands.

Quick reality check: I know that a lot of people tend to assume that condoms are always the male partners’ onus. Well, not anymore. This is the 21st century and lucky for you, condoms now come for both men and women. You obviously knew all about the male condom, so now it’s time to talk about its modest compeer - the female condom. Here’s going back to basics:

#1 What are female condoms?

The female condom or the internal condom is a one-side open rubber pouch that can be placed inside the vagina to prevent the seminal fluids from passing through. This hindrance to fluid exchange effectively prevents HIV infections, unwanted pregnancies, and sexually transmitted diseases (STDs), thus ensuring the safety of both partners.

#2 How does a female condom look?

A female condom looks like a latex tube with soft rings on each end. One end of the condom is open and the other is closed. The closed end goes inside the vagina where it blocks sperm from entering, while the open end is on the outside of the vagina – acting as an entry point for penis.  

what is a female condom

#3 How to use female condoms

  1. Open the pouch carefully from the side indicated on the packet. Don’t remove it from inside the packet before the exact moment of insertion.
  2. From outside of the packet, grab the inner closed ring between your thumb and middle finger.
  3. Use the index finger to squeeze the inner ring out of the packet and slide it straight into the vagina.
  4. Use your other hand to spread the folds of labia and clear out the path for the condom to enter.
  5. The condom must be slid in as far it will go by pushing up the front of the inner ring with your index finger. You know it’s placed deep enough, if you cannot feel it inside anymore. Remember: The outside ring must be outside the vagina at all times.
  6. After sex, squeeze the outer ring. Twist and pull gently to pull it out. Wrap the used condom in toilet paper, and dispose it in a dustbin.
  7. Never, ever reuse a female condom.
  8. what is a female condom

#4 Where to buy female condoms

Unfortunately, it is nearly impossible to find female condoms in pharmacies in India, owing to nugatory demand. But you will be able to purchase a whole range of female condoms from online stores like Flipkart and Amazon.

Here are 12 more things you should know about female condoms:

  1. Female condoms can also be used during anal sex, period and pregnancy sex, and for sex after recent childbirth.
  2. They fit all sizes of vaginas despite being small. Their size also makes them easy to carry.
  3. Their efficacy ranges from 75-82% with typical use. In a utopian scenario, the female condom may be up to 95% effective.
  4. It can be inserted up to 8 hours before you engage in intercourse.
  5. The female condom should not be paired with the male condom. This ‘double bagging’ increases the chances of friction-led tear and leakage.
  6. Different contraceptive methods work for different people. In the same way, female condoms don’t suit everyone. Some women may experience irritation in the vulva, vagina or anus.
  7. Unlike popular misconception, the female condom isn’t made of latex. It is, in fact, made of nitrile- a synthetic rubber that is impenetrable to pathogens. Therefore, it can be used by those who are allergic to latex.
  8. It does manipulate or change the female users’ natural hormones in anyway.   
  9. Unlike male condoms, these work equally well with oil and water based lubricants.
  10. Female condoms can be slightly noisy. Be prepared for some low-medium level rustling.
  11. It covers not only the vagina, but also bits of the vulva, thus further reducing chances of diseases such as genital warts.
what is a female condom

12. For those who are inexperienced, there is always a risk of the penis slipping in between the female condom and the vaginal wall, thereby negating the purpose of the condom.

The rising number of STDs across the globe has led to the rise of a phenomenon called ‘safer sex’. If practicing ‘safe sex’ means to engage in intercourse while keeping yourself safe from STDs and unwanted pregnancies, then ‘safer sex’ means protecting both you and of your sexual partner during intercourse. Technology and scientific advancements have given us a myriad of options when it comes to contraception and protection. The most recent invention- male contraceptive pills – are also in queue for launch into the market. So, the best way to go about choosing the best option for yourself is, first, by understanding each product thoroughly. I hope this article helped you comprehend the functioning of female condoms. If you want to read more about male condoms, then you can click here.

I’ve also written about male contraceptives in detail here.

Oh; and here is what a gynaecologist and obstetrician, Dr Rachna Singh, had to say about contraceptive pills.

I hope this helps you with your search of the perfect contraceptive.

PS: If you like what you just read, be sure to share it with your gang.

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