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What's Up With The Female Condom?

What's Up With The Female Condom?

If you're sick of using regular condoms while having sex, but still want to be protected against sexually transmitted infections (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 better protect you against STIs 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.
  • They contain no spermicide which tends to irritate many women when they have sex.
  • The female condom is 75% effective at preventing pregnancy when used correctly.
  • Both water-based and oil-based lubricants can be used with the female condom.
  • It can be inserted up to 8 hours before you have sex.

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.
  • They are more expensive than male condoms, costing about $10 for a 5-pack.

Dear's Advice: 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
frenchie77 frenchie77 8 years
Everyone keeps mentioning developping countries. I can't even afford these, and I live in Europe. In countries where people don't have much, they don't even buy the regular, cheap, condoms because they are too expensive. And this just does NOT look practical to use AT ALL.
nessabum nessabum 9 years
i'm fine with male condoms. and i don't really want plastic and a ring to hang outside of me.
LaLaLaurie06 LaLaLaurie06 9 years
okay that looks SCARY!!!!!!!!
rubgirl0027 rubgirl0027 9 years
It's only 6.5 inches long?!? Uh, what about guys who are above average? Wouldn't that mess it all up?
KiwiLu KiwiLu 9 years
When I was in high school they gave a bunch of these out.I agree with arrhythmia LOL it does look scary.
sparklestar sparklestar 9 years
I am sure there are better ways of not getting an STI. Like.. not having sex with somebody you think has one. Of course this is not always the case in developing countries and in which case, these are completely a good idea. I think my boyfriend would have a heart attack if he saw I'd grown "extra lips" and went PLASTICYSQUELCH as he inserted. =P
ThePerfectScore ThePerfectScore 9 years
OMg when my mom was giving me the sex talk she showed me on of these.... she's like Idk what it is... but you should know! hahah
CaterpillarGirl CaterpillarGirl 9 years
Could this thing be more of a turn off? It makes noises! you can see it on the outside! No thanks
haze1nut haze1nut 9 years
nasty! i don't think i could stuff that in me without it being awkward :(
arrhythmia arrhythmia 9 years
that thing looks scary! i wouldn't even know how to use it ^^
DearSugar DearSugar 9 years
Well said pk9000!
pk9000 pk9000 9 years
The female condom was developed to give more control to women who are concerned about STIs because they do not need to rely on men to provide or be willing to wear condoms. While most women who post here would likely not use it, it is tremendously important public health wise to women in developing countries where HIV is wide spread.
amybdk amybdk 9 years
I'd be open to trying it. I don't think it would be worth all the fuss. Who knows, though.
AlliJean AlliJean 9 years
I've never tried one and I never plan to either. BTW, who would want to wear that up to 8 hours before having sex? yuck.
rubialala rubialala 9 years
No thanks. We're doing fine on the pill and with condoms.
FB1977 FB1977 9 years
Nah...sounds too complicated to me. Male condom works just fine over here! ;-)
princess_eab princess_eab 9 years
95% is not enough for me. Male condom + nuvaring will work fine... but I might be more open to experimentation if I weren't already in a long-term partnership.
la-vita-bella la-vita-bella 9 years
i think i'd be wayyyyyy too self-conscious to use this :P
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