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The Female Condom

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.

Join The Conversation
amandasunly amandasunly 10 years
Looks a little intimidating.
amangel amangel 10 years
what the.... luckily I can't run into that in my country...
The-New-Black The-New-Black 10 years
Wow, this looks uncomfortable. And totally not sexy.
Fitness Fitness 10 years
Thanks genderhealth - good to know. I agree that it's great that women can use the female condom and take charge of their own fertility without pumping themselves with hormones.
genderhealth genderhealth 10 years
One of the reason female condoms cost so much is because there is not enough public funding for them. If public funding for female condoms were to increase, their cost would eventually fall to that of the male condoms. Female condoms are the only female controlled HIV prevention method currently available, for this reason their use must be promoted. Additionally, as someone who has used the female condom, you can't really insert it wrong and you can insert and remove it as many times as you need prior to your partner's ejaculation. To learn more about the female condom visit www.preventionnow.net.
sparklestar sparklestar 10 years
I would never use these, simply because of the cost! If you insert one wrong then the cost of each one is so high!
Keri1 Keri1 10 years
I have always been confused by this whole female condom idea. I'll stick with the regular condoms. Keri
sailing-chick sailing-chick 10 years
If I weren't in a stable relationship with my partner then yes I would consider it. I think its great that its made out of polyurethane and therefore should be less irritating. I know so many people that can't use condoms because they irritate them and would rather have unprotected sex. Would love to hear from anyone that's used them. thanks for the great info fit
DesignRchic DesignRchic 10 years
I don't think I'd use this form of birth control. I'm trying to visualize how I'd take the thing out :O And making noise? Noooo thanks.
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