Female condom

A thin plastic and loose fitting sheath that the woman places into and around the entrance to her vagina. It only needs to be used when you have sex. The female condom acts as a barrier to stop the man's sperm travelling into the woman and fertilising the egg. 

  • How good is the female condom at preventing a pregnancy?
    • The female condom works reasonably well at preventing a pregnancy but its ability to stop a pregnancy largely depends on the person using it properly.
    • In a perfect world, if one hundred women used the female condom properly every time they had sex and carried on with their normal sex life then five of those women would fall pregnant during that period.
    • But, with typical use up to 21 women out of 100 would fall pregnant.
  • What are the advantages of the female condom?
    • You only need to use condoms when you have sex.
       If they are used for any type of sexual activity then they help to protect against most sexually transmitted infections, including HIV.
    • A female condom can be put up to 8 hours before sex and thus does not have to affect the spontaneity of sex. Also, because the female condom lines the inside of the vagina, the penis does not have to be withdrawn immediately after ejaculation. 
    • In general female condoms do not cause an irritation to either the vagina or womb.  The majority of female condoms are made from a substance called polyurethane, which is non-latex and therefore is safe for those who suffer from a latex allergy.
    • It can be used straight after an abortion.
  • What are the disadvantages of the female condom?
    • Female condoms can sometimes get pushed completely inside during sex or come out, which is why they are not always as good as some other forms of contraception and may require some practice to use correctly.
    • If the condom breaks or tears, pushes inside or falls off then you may need to use an emergency contraception immediately afterwards.
  • How do I use a female condom?

    There are several types of female condoms available in the market.  Generally they come with an inner and outer ring.  The inner ring is squeezed together and inserted into the vagina while the woman is in a squatting or lying position with her legs spread.  The longest finger should then be used to push the ring as far into the vagina as possible.  Some of the condom will hang and be visible outside of the vagina. 

    Before sex, hold the edges of the condom against the outside of your opening when the man enters to ensure the condom does not get pushed inside during the sex act.  Also make sure that the penis is inside the condom and not between the condom and the vaginal wall.  After sex, pull the condom out carefully to avoid anything spilling out.  Tie the end of the condom and dispose of it in a rubbish bin, not in a toilet (as it may cause blockage).