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Female Condom

Female Condom: Basic Facts, and How to Use

What is female condom?

A female condom, or a condom for women, is a shield used by women during sexual intercourse with a man against unwanted pregnancy, and against the risk of sexually transmitted diseases such as gonorrhea, syphilis, and HIV. Female condom is much like a thin pouch with a flexible ring at each end that can be inserted into the vagina.If a woman uses the female condom she need not rely on her partner to wear a condom. A female condom however, is not intended to be a replacement to a male condom, but is an additional safety option for both women and men. Simultaneous usage of both male and female condom is not recommended.

Why do we need female condoms?

Female condom gives the women empowerment to not completely rely on their male partners to have protected sex. It offers women protection against unwanted pregnancy and Sexually Transmitted Infections (STIs).

How can I insert a female condom or how to use a female condom?

Choose a brand of condom that you are comfortable with. Prior to inserting the condom:

  • Check the expiration date on the female condom package, to make sure that you can still use it.
  • Take out the condom you intend to use from the package and spread lubricant or spermicide on the outside of the closed end.
  • Make yourself comfortable, either in a lying, squatting, sitting or standing position with one foot resting on a chair.

Now follow these steps to insert the condom:

  1. Squeeze the sides of inner ring, bringing them together by using your thumb and forefinger.
  2. Without letting go, insert the ring inside the vagina and push it as far as possible.
  3. Next, place your index finger inside the female condom and push the condom to the back of the vagina towards your cervix by pushing on the ring.
  4. Once it reaches the cervix the condom expands naturally, and you will no longer be able to feel it.

Note: If you can still feel it, it means you have not pushed it far enough to reach the cervix.

  1. Slowly remove your finger. Ensure that at least one inch of the condom is hanging outside of the vagina. If more than an inch is hanging outside it means you have not inserted the condom properly, and then you will need to check if the inner ring is positioned correctly.
  2. Now, if you are ready to have an intercourse, let your partner insert his penis in the outer ring and into the condom. You can guide him, if you wish, to make sure that his penis is entering the condom and not pushing it to one side.

Please Note:

  • Female condoms usually are pre-lubricated, but using extra lubricant on it can make it easier for you to insert the condom into your vagina.
  • Using a spermicide with the female condom can reduce the risk of pregnancy greatly.

How do I remove a female condom?

To remove the female condom:

  1. Gently hold and twist the outer ring to close the opening and stop the sperm from spilling out.
  2. Now, still holding the ring slowly pull the condom out.

Throw away the female condom into a trash bin. Never re-use a used female condom.

Please Note: Do not flush the condom into a toilet.

Can a female condom and male condom be used together?

Absolutely not, as the friction caused by both the condoms together can tear one or both of them. Using either of the condoms male or female is sufficient to provide protection against unwanted pregnancy and STIs.

Can I use female condom during pregnancy?

You can safely use the female condom during pregnancy as it does not go beyond the cervix. You can also use the female condom after recently giving birth.

Can I use a female condom during menstruation?

If menstruating: Symptoms and Treatment") you need to insert the condom just before having sexual intercourse and remove it immediately after. As long as you take this precaution, the condom will not interfere with the menstruation and can be safely used.

Can a female condom get stuck or disappear within my body?

It is absolutely impossible for the female condom to disappear inside your body. The female condom covers the cervix when inserted and the diameter of the opening to the cervix is 1 mm to 3 mm. Thus, the condom cannot go past a woman's cervix and into the womb (uterus) as it is too large for that.

You also do not need to be fitted before using the condom. In fact, you can safely keep the condom inserted for up to four hours prior to sex, if you are not menstruating.

Can the female condom be used in different sexual positions?

Yes. The female condom can be used in any sexual position.

However, the safety and efficacy of the female condom for anal intercourse is not yet evaluated. Therefore it is not advisable to use a female condom for anal intercourse.

Can female condoms effectively prevent both pregnancy and STIs, including HIV?

If used consistently and correctly, female condoms offer dual protection against both unwanted pregnancy and STIs, including HIV and AIDS: Causes, Complications, and Treatment").

What is the best way to make sure that your partner?s penis goes into the condom and not outside the condom?

Your partner should carefully guide his penis and place the tip inside the outer ring of the condom.

You can also guide him, if you wish, to make sure that his penis is entering the condom and not pushing it to one side. If the penis goes between the wall of the vagina and the condom, your partner should withdraw and try again.

Can I re-use a female condom?

It is not advisable to re-use a female or a male condom. Use a new condom everytime you have sexual intercourse.

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