If you're sick of using regular condoms while having sex, but still want to be protected against sexually transmitted diseases (STIs) like HIV, the female condom might be the answer.
The female condom (also called the internal condom) is about 6.5 inches long and at each end there is a flexible ring. One end is closed and that's the ring that gets inserted into your vagina, much like you would insert a diaphragm - this ring is also removable. At the other open end, the ring stays outside the vulva at the entrance to the vagina.
What are the BENEFITS?
- Female condoms actually protect you better against STDs than male condoms because they cover more of your mucous membranes.
- It's made out of polyurethane, so if you have a latex allergy, this is another option for you besides polyurethane condoms. Condoms made out of polyurethane also conduct heat better.
- They contain no spermicide which tend to irritate many women when they have sex.
- It's 95% effective at preventing pregnancy when used correctly.
- Oil-based lubricants can be used with the female condom.
- It can be inserted up to 8 hours before you have sex.
- Since the inner ring is removable, you can take it out and use the internal condom for anal intercourse. That's why it's considered a good option for protection against HIV and other STDs.
Want to know what the DISADVANTAGES are? Then
- The outer ring can be seen outside the vagina, so for some women, this makes them feel self-conscious.
- It can makes noises while you have sex, but using more lubricant may help this problem.
- Some women find it harder to insert, use, and remove compared to male condoms.
- It may be hard to find in certain countries.
- It's more expensive than male condoms, costing about $10 for a 5-pack.
Fit's Tips: Just like using any form of birth control, it takes a little practice. Here's a step-by-step guide to inserting the female condom so you can become a pro.
Check out these Adriana Bertini dresses posted by Fab. They're made out of condoms to increase people's awareness about AIDS.
With all this in mind, I am curious - do you think you would ever try this form of birth control? If you have tried it, do share your thoughts about it in the comments section below.