Sex, protection, condoms – these three words are always associated with each other and for the right reasons. We have all read about how important it is to engage in protected or safe sex to prevent sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) or even unwanted pregnancies.
However, when we think about condoms, it has always been linked to the men. What if there were to exist female condoms? That’s right! Until recently, it was only the male condom that could act as a “barrier” from STDs. However, today there are female condoms that women can use for safe sex and don’t really need to depend on her partner to agree to it.
If you’ve heard about female condoms for the first time, you may have a lot of questions about them running in your head. Here are the answers to a few common questions about female condoms.
What Are Female Condoms?
Female condoms are pretty much the same as the usual condoms except that they are used by females. Female condoms are no different from the usual condoms that men use for protection against sexually transmitted infections or diseases and unplanned pregnancies.
Female condoms are made of nitrile polymer (the same material medical gloves are made of) and are latex free. So, they can be used by those who are allergic to latex, too. These condoms can be used with lubricants too – both oil and water-based lubricants. The female condoms have two flexible rings at each end – one open and the other closed.
These condoms are non-reusable, which means that once used they cannot be used again the next time you have sex.
How Effective Are Female Condoms?
Female condoms are as effective as the usual condoms provided you use them correctly. Researchers suggest that the female condom is effective in increasing protected sex and can possibly reduce the incidence of STDs/STIs.1
No contraceptive method is a 100 percent effective. The same goes with these condoms, too. However, you can make these condoms work better by combining them with your birth control pills. However, what you must keep in mind is that you shouldn’t combine both condoms – male condoms and female condoms. Using both is not going to make them more effective than they are when used alone.
How To Use A Female Condom?
This can be quite tricky if it is your first time using a female condom. It is important to read the instructions and follow exactly what they say. To avoid any interruption during that intimate time with your partner, try to put the condom on well in advance even before foreplay. You can also involve your partner and ask him to help you out; for all you know, this can get things started in the bedroom!
Here are some steps that may help you to insert and remove a female condom correctly.
Steps To Insert A Female Condom
- Before you begin anything, it is important to read the label and check for the expiry date of the product.
- The condoms come with lube, but you can use a lubricant of your choice.
- Get into a comfortable position – standing with one foot on the chair, lying down, or squatting.
- Squeeze the sides of the inner ring – the one at the closed end – and slide it into the vagina, pushing it as far as you can into the vagina up to your cervix.
- The outer ring will hang outside the vagina, about an inch outside.
- After this, you can guide your partner’s penis into the opening of the condom and you are ready for some action!
Steps To Remove A Female Condom
- After sex, twist the outer ring of the female condom to prevent the semen from spilling.
- Gently, pull the condom out of the vagina.
- Make sure you dispose of the used condom in the trash and do not flush it down the toilet as this may lead to clogging.
What Are The Pros And Cons Of Female Condoms?
Like any normal condom, female condoms also have their pros and cons. Here are some of these advantages and disadvantages that you should know about.
Advantages Of Female Condoms
- These are effective in protecting against sexually transmitted diseases or infections and prevent unwanted pregnancies.
- The female condoms are strong and do not burst like the male condoms.
- They are latex-free and do not irritate the sensitive skin around the genitals.
- The sex feels natural and provides more enjoyment for the partners involved.
- These condoms give women a control over their sex lives.
Disadvantages Of Female Condoms
- The female condoms may be overpriced and this may be a major barrier for making it accessible to a large number of women.
- Sometimes, because of their cost, some women tend to reuse the female condoms multiple times, making them ineffective.
- Female condoms are not easy to insert and can only be done correctly with practice.
Female condoms are available in drugstores just like the usual condoms. All it takes is a little effort and practice to get it right before you have sex. So, say no to unprotected sex with more than just words and use your protective female condoms.
|↑1||Vijayakumar, Gowri, Zonke Mabude, Jenni Smit, Mags Beksinska, and Mark Lurie. “A review of female-condom effectiveness: patterns of use and impact on protected sex acts and STI incidence.” International journal of STD & AIDS 17, no. 10 (2006): 652-659.|