What is a female condom?
A female condom is a transparent polyurethane sheath that is used during sexual intercourse, provides protection against sexually transmitted diseases, such as gonorrhoea, syphilis, HIV, and pregnancy. It is known as a barrier-type of contraceptive that is inserted into the vagina prior to having sex. Women, however, need to practice inserting female condoms properly.
Why use a female condom?
A female condom offers more extensive barrier protection against unwanted and STI transmission because it covers both the internal and much of the external female genitalia.
Female condoms are often made of polyurethane or nitrile, which is safe to use for people who are allergic to latex.
Tips for using female condoms
Don’t double up the condoms. Using an internal condom at the same time as an external (male) one may be riskier. Instead, it causes friction and the condom may break.
Remember to use a new female condom every time you have sex.
How to insert a female condom or how to use a female condom?
Prior to inserting the condom
Prior to inserting the condom, please remember to:
- Check the condoms’ expiration date and make sure your condom has a mark (FDA, CE, ISO or Kitemark) for safety standards.
- Take the condom out of the packet carefully. Don’t rip it, don’t use your teeth or scissors and mind your fingernails or jewellery.
- Make yourself comfortable with the condom, either in a sitting, lying or standing position with one foot resting on a chair.
Steps to insert the condom
You can read instructions in the packet or consult a sexual health professional on how to insert a condom. These are the steps:
- Remove the condom from its wrapper, and unroll the condom. Pinch the inner closed ring together.
- A female condom usually is pre-lubricated, but you can use an extra lubricant to make things easier.
Sit, squat, lie or stand in a comfortable position. Then, Insert the ring into your vaginal canal as far as possible. Place your finger inside to ensure that the condom is deep inside of your vagina. It’s similar to inserting a menstrual cup or tampon.
- When the condom meets the cervix, the condom expands naturally. You should no longer feel it.
Female condom vs male condom
Both types of condoms are just as effective as long as they are used correctly. You could try both to know which one you prefer.
Some people feel that after foreplay, stopping to put a condom on a penis can disrupt erections and interrupt the heat of the moment. So, with a female condom, there are no interruptions, as it can be inserted up to eight hours before sex.
Female Condom size
If you find the female uncomfortable during sex, then you should consider changing to a different size of the condom. This means they give the penis more breathing room. Some men prefer them as they find them more comfortable and can make it easier to keep an erection.
In fact, people find sex more pleasurable with female condoms, as they are in control of their protection from STIs and unwanted pregnancy. You both can feel more pleasure during vaginal sex, because the female condom’s inner ring may stimulate the tip of the penis, and the external ring can rub against the vulva and clitoris.
Most female condoms are made from polyurethane or nitrile, while male condoms are made of latex. The female ones provide a safe option for people who are allergic to latex.
What to do if a condom breaks
In the case a condom breaks, please remember to:
- Withdraw the penis immediately
- Remove as much semen as you can
- Wash the outside of your genitals
- Don’t wash inside your vagina or anus as this can spread the infection further
- Go to the bathroom and pee to flush away any semen if you are having vagina sex.
- if you haven’t been using any other contraceptive to prevent pregnancy, please consult a doctor to access emergency contraception to prevent pregnancy. This should be done within 72 hours of having sex.
- Have a sexual health test after exposure (or earlier if you’re worried about any symptoms) and then again around three months later. This is because different STIs become detectable at different times after infection.