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    family planning

    How To Use a Female Condom?

    • 4.9   (5 Votes)

    Female condom is a family planning method which helps in preventing unwanted pregnancies and STDs in women. Female condom is made up of Polyurethane, Nitrile, and Latex. The effectiveness of female condoms is worth appreciating which reaches up to 75 percent. Female condoms are more comfortable as compared to male condoms.

    Condoms are one of the promising birth control methods available for couples across the world. Female condoms are a substitute for male condoms. Instead of going on the penis, the female condom goes inside the vagina to avoid unwanted pregnancies and Sexually Transmitted Infections (STIs) including HIV. These condoms are used inside the anus to protect from STIs. Some couples prefer to use a female condom as it means not having to depend on their partner to wear a condom. If you have never used a female condom its good to be aware of and even better to try all the available options. Female condom is worn internally by a female partner to make a barrier that helps in preventing exposure to ejaculated semen or any other fluids. However, female condoms can be utilized by the receptive partner during anal sex. It is a thin, soft, and loose-fitting case with a flexible ring at its closed end. It typically comes in multiple sizes which provides flexibility to couples in choosing the same. (1)

    The market of female condoms is estimated to boost upto at a CAGR of over 20 percent during the period 2018-2024, thereby, increasing the scope for the growth of the global condom market. An open attitude toward women's sexuality, the developing participation of women in sexual adventures in couples, and an increase in the awareness of women's sexual rights are helping in expanding the female condom market. With organizations dynamically seeking to commercialize the scale of manufacture and usage of female condoms i.e. the market is projected to provide significant growth opportunities to vendors during the forecast period.

    The female condom has first appeared successfully in South Africa more than 20 years ago. It was a working wonder for different reasons and the continent also had a major market for this product. Every year, the government used to distribute more than 40 million units efficiently to hospitals, university campuses and communities for free. South Africa also has the world's largest HIV-positive population. The place is also well-known for this reason as its one-fifth of adults aged 19 to 45 were only infected with HIV. The government supports and provides 80% of the funding to its public to fight against AIDS. It also served condoms efficiently which remain the preferred method of prevention. Condoms also work against other sexually transmitted diseases and early and unwanted pregnancies successfully. (2)

    This article includes further information related to Female condoms:

    What is female condom?

    A female condom is a thin pouch which is put inside the vagina to prevent unplanned pregnancy and STIs including HIV successfully. It can also be put inside the rectum to protect it from HIV and other sexually transmitted infections (STIs) effectively. Condoms are the good birth control options for couples who want protection against STDs and unwanted pregnancies. To avoid pregnancies a woman can use female condom before starting to have intercourse with her partner. It is necessary to use the condom before intercourse just to have positive outcomes. Birth control is important for couples who currently want to avoid pregnancy and delay it for the future. It is one of the essential steps in family planning. Birth control has been used by couples for decades. It is one of the most effective birth control methods for couples. These days several useful birth control methods which are available in the market for preventing HIV and AIDS along with unwanted pregnancies. It also protects and safeguards the sexual well-being of couples. (3)

    What Is Female Condom

    Female Condom Dos and Donts

    Female condoms were designed in the year 1980s to protect against sexually transmitted diseases and unwanted pregnancies. Female condoms are now progressively more available worldwide. Before using a female condom, one must know its Dos and Don'ts. Female condoms are very impactful when used at the right time and procedure. Female-focused contraceptives serve as a safer alternative than male counterparts. Female condoms are easy to use and are easily available at the stores. To experience an impactful and positive outcome one must go through the below table: (4)

    Female Condom Do's

    Female Condom Don'ts

    Do use it from start to finish, every time they have vaginal sex

    Do not use a male condom along with a female condom, as this can increase the chance of tearing of any of them

    Do read its instructions and expiration date before inserting

    Do not reuse a female condom

    Do make sure there are no tears or defects before use

    Do not flush female condoms as it can block the toilet

    Do store female condoms in a cool and dry place


    Do use oil to help prevent the condom from slipping and tearing


    Female condoms are as effective as male condoms when used regularly and accurately. It helps in preventing unwanted pregnancy and STIs successfully. Couples who want to plan their family can use condoms as it has impactful outcomes in family planning. The typical use of female condoms is that condoms which most of the couples use falls at a failure rate of 21 percent. This states that 21 couple out of every 100 can have a positive pregnancy during the first year of use. A couple may increase the effectiveness of a female condom by adding a Spermicidal foam, jelly, or cream in conjunction with the condom. (5) According to many of the medical experts, female condoms demarcate women power as they can control their sexual health and performance as per their wish. (6)

    Effectiveness of Female Condom:

    Effectiveness of Female Condom

    No interruptions: Unlikemale condoms, female condoms are put on just before sex or during foreplay. One can insert the female condom efficiently upto eight hours before having sex. This means no interruptions once decided to get down to it. This also means that the penis can be put into or near the vagina successfully before it is fully erect. A female can control their sexual health and it also won't slow down in their heat of the moment.

    Lesser latex: While mostmale condoms are made of latex, female condoms are made from a soft plastic material that is called nitrile. Nitrile rubber is a synthetic copolymer made up of acrylonitrile and butadiene. It is hypoallergenic which means female condoms won't irritate sensitive genital skin of a woman. Besides, one cannot use oil-based lubricants because these may cause the latex to break. However, female condoms can be used with any type of lubricant i.e. oil, water, or silicone. (7)

    Size matters: Female condoms are larger than male condoms. Many a times, these male condoms don't fit comfortably around the penis. This means a female condom provides more breathing room to the penis, which some couples found more comfortable to use. The use of a female condom can make it easier and comfortable for the man to maintain an erection effectively before performing sex. 

    Maximum pleasure: Usage of female condoms successfully during intercourse can make sex more pleasurable for the couple. During vaginal sex, the inner ring of the female condom may stimulate the tip of the penis which aids in the erection of the penis. Also, the external ring of a female condom can rub against the vulva and clitoris which can help a couple feel great while intercourse. 

    Relaxation: The female condom does not depend on an erection to stay in place because of which the male partner does not have to withdraw immediately after successful ejaculation. In comparison of male condom, the female condoms can be removed whenever its comfortable with both men and women partner. This means that with the utilization of female condoms during intercourse a couple can relax easily and enjoy the moment together. (8)

    There are some disadvantages to the female condom which includes:

    • Female condoms may irritate the genital area in a couple
    • Female condom may slip into the interior region of vagina or anus while having vaginal or anal intercourse 
    • Female condoms may reduce sensation during intercourse

    Female condom procedure:

    Female condoms help in the prevention of unwanted pregnancies. It increases the joy and satisfaction in a couple during intercourse. They are produced in a wide range in multiple countries. In the comparison to male condoms, female condoms are more comfortable and easy to use for couples. The female condom procedure involves several steps such as:

    Step 1: Carefully open and remove the female condom from its package to avoidtearing of the condom

    Step 2: The thick and inner ring with closed-end is utilized for placing into the vagina and holdsthe condom at its place. The thin outer ring of the female condom remains outside the body that covers the vaginal opening.

    Step 3: Find a comfy position where you can place the female condom. While holding the outside of condom at closed-end, squeeze its sides of inner ring together with your thumb and forefinger and insert it successfully into the vagina. The placement of the female condom is similar to insertion of a tampon proficiently into the vagina.

    Step 4: With the help of your finger, push the ring as far up as it can go until it rests or touches the cervix effectively. The condom will then spread out naturally and a woman may not even feel it.

    Step 5: While inserting a female condom, a woman shouldbe sure that condom is not twisted to avoid loss of pleasure during sex or create disturbance during the act. The thin, outer ring should remain outside vagina to prevent displacement of the condom from its place.

    Step 6: Further, a woman should guide her partner’s penis into opening of female condom in the right manner. A woman should stop intercourse if she feels penis slip between condom and walls of the vagina or if the outer ring is pushed into the vagina.

    Step 7: To remove the condom, a woman must gently twist the outer ring and pull the female condom out of her vagina successfully. This will avoid mistaken insertion of the condom into the vagina. 

    Step 8: Throw away female condom in the trash after using it one time. Do not reuse. One must make sure that reuse of the condom is avoided. 

    Pros and Cons of Female condoms:

    Female condoms have various pros and cons. A couple must go through its pros and cons before using it so that they can have an impactful outcome. Knowing the pros and cons of female condom will lead to enjoying more without any tension. (9)

    Pros and Cons of Female Condoms

    Pros of Female condoms include:

    • Female condom is the only form of birth control that has a major reduction in the transmission of Sexually Transmitted Diseases (STD's), along with male condoms.
    • The use of female condoms helps in controlling the use of contraception
    • No need for a prescription to use female condoms for intercourse
    • Compared to male condoms, female condoms are less likely to cause an allergic reaction and are less likely to break
    • Female condoms are small, easy to carry, and disposable at the same time

    Cons of Female condoms include:

    • Female condoms are more expensive than male condoms 
    • The outer ring of a female condom may be considered cumbersome
    • The usual use of female condoms during intercourse has a high failure rate of approximately 21 percent which is a serious concern
    •  Female condoms may be a distraction during intercourse because of crackling or popping noises

    Male Condoms v/s Female Condoms:

    The second best thing to occur to a human being after intercourse is condoms. Certainly, it is one of the best discoveries by human beings to improve the sexual life. It not only helps a couple in keeping unwanted pregnancies at howl but also protects them from STD's. Male condoms have been in the market for much longer than female condoms, so understandably male condoms are used more due to the presence of increased awareness among the general population especially couples. It is magnificent to know that there’s another option that lets a woman to control their sexual health. Women these days can easily protect themselves from disease and motherhood without having to depend on the guy to use a condom. Let us compare both condoms and effectively understand they are different from the other. (10)


    Male condom

    Female Condom

    What are they made from?

    Male condoms are made up of Latex, Polyisoprene, polyurethane, or lamb intestines to give a positive outcome

    Female condoms are made up of Polyurethane, nitrile, and latex to provide the best outcome


    Latex condoms cost Rs. 180 for a pack of 10 condoms.

    Non-latex cost Rs. 100 for a pack of 6 condoms.

    Latex condoms cost Rs. 180 for a pack for 10 condoms


    Male condoms are 85 percent effective after use

    Female condoms are 75 percent effective after use

    Protection from STDs

    Condoms made out of latex and polyurethane protect a couple from STDs than the condoms made up of components such as lamb intestines 

    All types of female condoms protect a couple from STDs

    Lubricant compatibility

    One should only utilize water-based lubricant while using latex male condoms. However, a man can effectively use both water-based and oil-based lubricants while using condoms made out of polyurethane and lamb intestine.

    A woman can use both oil and water-based lubricants to get an effective impact on their sex lives.


    Male condoms are easily available at all pharmacies and grocery stores

    Female condoms can be found in stores easily. One can also buy it online.

    When can it be used?

    Male condom should be placed on the penis just before intercourse when the man has an erect penis

    Female condoms can be inserted up to 8 hours before intercourse. This ensures that couples can keep a check on their intercourse time period.


    Once done having intercourse, hold the outer rim and pull out the penis from the vagina. Then, remove the condom and throw it away.

    After sex, mildly tug on the outer rim and pull the condom out

    Important Points related to Female condoms:

    The female condom is the only accessible woman-initiated method designed to provide “dual protection” from unwanted pregnancy and sexually transmitted infections (STIs). It can also go a long way in addressing the unmet need among women. Every couple or woman should know some points related to Female condoms:

    Important Points related to Female Condoms

    1. Female condom reserves a unique place in the prevention kit

    An estimated 222 million women in multiple developing countries across the globe want to prevent unwanted pregnancy without using contraception. This is because they fear of having side effects or infrequent sex. Both reasons can be addressed by female condoms because they don’t include hormones and can be used only when needed. HIV is the main leading cause of death and disability among women of reproductive age globally. Female condoms put the power of protection during intercourse in a woman's hand with the help of which they can control their sexual life constructively.

    2. Men also favor the use of Female condom:

    Female condoms are designed for women to wear persuasively for intercourse. According to research, it states that men like female condoms when compared to male condoms. This is because female condoms are pertinent to the penis. It also does not slow down the penis like male condoms. Some men appreciate the opportunity to share dependability for dual protection and not always have to be the individual wearing the condom. 

    3. Female condoms increase sexual pleasure:

    One of the most interesting and "sexier" secrets about female condoms is that many couples find that the product can increase intimacy and pleasure. The positive point related to female condoms is that they can be inserted before sex, to "ruin the moment". Some of the products used in female condoms are made of heat-transmitting materials, which can make you feel more comfortable than latex condoms. Female condoms do not need to be removed immediately after having sex, so the couples can stay in moment together and enjoy it.

    4. Different female condoms product on the market:

    Various types of female condoms that exist in the market. Some of them are latex-free, and all of them are hormone-free. The most renowned female condom is FC2, which is available in more than 130 countries worldwide. There are many other products, which are ready to enter the market successfully. These products or brands are designed to improve acceptability and are also cost-effective. A female condom developed by PATH, CONRAD and local research partners with the utilization of user-centered process is done for easy use. Female condoms are comfortable to both the partners. 

    5. Female condoms can be a cost-effective form of protection

    Female condoms are most often described as "expensive". But as the proverb goes, a pound of prevention is worth a lifetime of cure. Female condoms are cost-effective public health intervention when evaluated to the costs of HIV treatment. Also, the mathematical models have shown extensive cost savings to the health sector in multiple countries including Brazil, South Africa, and the United States. A current analysis of the female condom as a dual anticipation method i.e. family planning and HIV prevention. It was found that the product is very cost-effective in 11 countries. 

    6. The addition of Female condom to Male condom distribution, couples have more protected sex:

    Based on the recent studies, it was found that the level of having protected sex has increases when female condoms are developed. It has potentially started reducing the risk of having HIV infection and unwanted pregnancies. When both types of condoms are available in the market, consistent uses often switch between the use of a male and female condom. It boosts the overall number of condoms used during intercourse. One should always remember that they should not use a male condom and female condom at the same time. This is because it can lead to one or both condoms tearing. (11)

    Female Condom

    This was the detailed information related to female condoms and their use. Female condoms are used to prevent a woman from having unwanted pregnancy and STDs. It is one of the most common contraception used nowadays. Female condoms are more comfortable than male condoms. It also increases a sense of sensuality and satisfaction among both the partners. Female condoms are safer than male condoms as they are made up of latex, polyurethane, and nitrile. The product used in the manufacture of female condoms efficiently helps it to be tear-resistant. Female condoms are easily available online and at the medical store. It also does not require a doctor's visit or prescription. It is a good option for couples who want to prevent unwanted pregnancies and STDs. The female condom does not have any kind of effects on either the male or the female reproductive function. 

    The female condom helps in keeping the vagina and cervix from coming in contact with the skin of the penis or with secretions from the penis. The female condom is successfully inserted into the vagina using the closed-end ring. It can be inserted upto 8 hours prior to having sex and can easily and effectively remove it immediately after intercourse. It is also known as an internal condom as it is inserted into the anus of a woman. It is well known as the barrier method of contraception. Contraceptions are used to prevent a woman from having unwanted pregnancies, HIV, AIDS and STDs. It is a cost-effective and safe methods of birth control. Every couple should use condoms to protect their sexual health.





    Indira Nati

    I never heard or either used female condoms. But after the read, it seems to be simple smooth and easy. I think I will try this.

    Oct. 12, 2018, 1:05 p.m. 5.0


    Rukhsar Nouman

    Just wanna know does female condom cause discomfort? I was thinking of giving it a try!

    Oct. 5, 2018, 8:07 p.m. 5.0


    Lindsey Mullen

    I have used female condoms and they work better as compared to male condoms because they do not come in between you and your partner as male condom does.

    Sept. 5, 2018, 9:10 p.m. 5.0


    Sheila Saxena

    Female condoms are really effective if you use them perfectly every single time you have sex. As per the research and study, effectiveness of female condoms is 95%. But this effectiveness goes down to 79% as most of the people aren't using it properly. About 21 out of 100 people using female condom…

    Oct. 27, 2017, 2:50 p.m. 4.5


    Viji Vijayan

    I guess the only advantage I see with female condom is the inserting part. Once you are used to it, you will feel no irritation while insertion. Just find the right place and better if you ask your partner to make it a part of the foreplay. You will even not feel anything annoying.

    Oct. 27, 2017, 2:50 p.m. 5.0

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