Female Condom: What Is It And How To Use It? Effectiveness, Drawbacks, And Everything

female condom guide

Similar to male condoms, there are female condoms made of soft, thin synthetic latex or rubber. They are worn inside the vagina to prevent the semen of the man that came out during intercourse from going to the woman's womb. And it differs slightly from the male condom.

These condoms are made of natural rubber latex, nitrile (synthetic latex), and polyurethane (a type of plastic material). FDA-approved female condoms around the world are FC1 and FC2. The FC1, which is made of plastic, is no longer produced, as it has been banned given its ill effects. And FC2 is a condom made from a synthetic rubber called nitrile and polyurethane, and it's completely safe.

What Are Internal Condoms Or Female Condoms (Vaginal Condoms)?

The female condom is also known as the vaginal condom or internal condom. And which has many properties and benefits similar to the male condom.

The female condom or internal condom (vaginal condom) and outer condom (male condom) prevent sperm from entering the vagina during intercourse, thereby reducing the chance of pregnancy. 

It also protects against sexually transmitted diseases such as HIV/AIDS, syphilis, gonorrhea, hepatitis, and other sexually transmitted infections (STIs).

Female condoms or internal condoms are latex pouches with rubber rings at both ends that you insert into the vagina. One end of the female condom (which is closed) is inserted into the vagina like an anchor. The other end remains outside the vagina because the outer or opening ring acts as a barrier, which prevents slipping inside the vagina.

How Female Condom (Vaginal Condoms) Works

The female condom is a barrier method of contraception worn inside the vagina during intercourse, which prevents pregnancy by preventing the sperm ejaculated by the man from reaching the woman's uterus and meeting the egg. It also contains the spread of sexually transmitted diseases (STIs).

Usually, you can insert a female condom into the vagina before sex. Still, you need to be sure that the penis has not come into contact with the vagina before inserting the condom.

Because even the slightest touch of the penis with the vagina can increase the risk of pregnancy, even if the man has not ejaculated, Precum also comes from the penis, which contains sperm, and can lead to pregnancy.

Semen can come out of the penis even before a man has fully ejaculated. When a condom is used correctly, condoms are a solid form of contraception that protects against both pregnancy and STIs.

Who Can Use A Female Condom Or Vaginal Condoms?

Generally, all women can safely use female condoms. Generally, a woman can use a female condom at any time; whether she can use it immediately after childbirth, during pregnancy, or even immediately after an abortion, This will help prevent unwanted pregnancies and dangerous STIs.

However, these condoms may not be suitable for women who do not feel comfortable touching their vaginal area or genital area.

How Is A Female Condom Used?

When you're ready to have sex, the first thing to do is tear the condom off the edge of its notch and gently remove it from its wrapper.

Keep in mind that caution is very important to prevent damage to the condom, so do not use any sharp object, including your teeth or nails, to tear the wrapper of the condom or take it out. Condom wrappers are made of such a material and design that you can easily pull them with your hands.

The female condom has two ends: the width of both ends is approximately equal, one closed inner end and the other open outer end. There is a rubber ring at both ends, and the condom has a long sleeve in the middle of the end that lines the vagina.

Use your thumb and forefinger to squeeze the ring on the closed end, which will become hard when twisted and move quickly inside the vagina. Now insert it into the vagina, like you would insert a tampon or menstrual cup.

Push the closed end of the condom into the vagina until it fits snugly against the pubic bone. It is also worth noting that the open outer part of the open end of the condom should be outside the vagina, and the ring on the open end should be properly. 

When you are ready for penetrative sex (sex with a male partner or sex with sex toys), you or your partner can insert the penis or sex toys into the outer end of the condom. After sex, use your thumb and fingers to twist the outer end of the condom and the ring together and gently pull it out of your vagina to avoid leaking, spilling the semen, and getting inside the vagina.

According to Food and Drug Administration (FDA) certification, the female condom (internal condom) is a substantial barrier to birth control. It is designed to limit the risk of STIs and unintended pregnancy by keeping semen from coming into contact with the vagina.

The makers of FC2 (condoms) say that using female condoms (internal condoms) for anal or oral sex would be off-label use and would be a slightly awkward, painful, uncomfortable, and useless idea. Therefore, it may be better to use a male condom during oral sex or anal sex.

What Is The Meaning Of Barrier Birth Control?

Simply put, barrier methods of birth control prevent pregnancy by actively blocking ejaculated sperm from the man's penis and preventing it from contact with the vagina, uterus, and eggOther forms include cervical caps, diaphragms, and contraceptive sponges containing spermicide. This chemical blocks the entrance to the cervix as needed. And kills sperm, thereby reducing the chances of conception.

Some Other Important Things To Use A Female Condom

Like the male condom, the female condom (internal condom) is also intended for single-time use. It means you shouldn't reuse a condom after a round of vaginal sex; use a condom once and throw it away after use.

Always remember that you should never use more than one condom at a time. If the man uses a condom on his penis, then the woman does not need to put the condom in the vagina. And if the woman is using a condom internally in her vagina, the man does not need to wear a condom on his penis. Using more than one condom can cause friction between the two condoms, and the condom can break and break off the blockage.

Be sure to read the instructions on the package carefully before using a condom, even if you've used a condom before. It will ensure that you are using the condom correctly.

Before wearing a condom, make sure that the condom is entirely fresh and safe. If you see any defect in the condom, do not use it.

In addition, you can keep the internal condom on after ejaculation, as long as you are not standing, Because semen can leak out of the condom when you stand up or turn over and come into contact with your vagina increasing your risk of pregnancy or STIs.

You should know that just like the male condom, the female condom comes pre-lubricated with a non-spermicide, silicone-based lubricant. Still, suppose you want to use more oil. In that case, you can also use any lubricant as per your convenience, following the directions on the package.

Dispose of the condom after taking it out of the vagina after use. Be careful not to flush it down as it can clog the toilet.

How Are Effective Female Condoms or Internal condoms?

According to experts, the efficacy rate of the internal condom (female condom) is slightly lower than that of the outer condom (male condom). Experts measure the effectiveness of birth control and condoms based on correct use.

According to experts, the success rate of internal condoms ranges from 79 to 95 percent for everyday use. It is also worth noting that the male condom (external condom) has a success rate of 87 to 98 percent for everyday use.

But the truth is that female condom, if used with care and correctly, can go a long way in preventing the spread of STIs.

What Are The Benefits Of Using A Female Condom (Internal Condom)?

The female condom or inner condom also offers many of the same benefits as the outer condom (male condom), some of the unique and essential benefits of which include:

  • Experience Increased Sexual Pleasure.

The female condom or internal condom is made of polyurethane, which transmits heat to the penis and vagina while keeping the body warm, making sex more natural for both sexual partners. In addition, the outer ring of the female condom can stimulate the clitoris. In contrast, the inner circle increases stimulation at the tip of the penis.

  • Female Condoms Do Not Contain Latex.

Some male condoms are made of latex, while the female condom (internal condom) is made of nitrile and polyurethane, which is excellent for people with latex allergies.

  • Protection Against Unwanted Pregnancy And Dangerous STIs.

The female condom or internal condom provides double protection against dangerous STIs and unwanted pregnancy, as it covers the internal and external genitalia from your male partner's body fluids (semen).

  • Women Can use Female Condoms With Water-Based Or Oil-Based Additional Lubricants.

Using too much lubricant on the male condom can make it worse while using a female condom (inner condom) with oil-based and water-based lubricants for more pleasure and comfort.

  • Female Condoms Have A Longer Shelf-Life.

Unlike the male condom, the female condom does not require special instructions for storage, as temperature and humidity do not affect it much. Its shelf life can be up to 3 to 5 years long.

  • Can Be Applied 2 Hours before Penetrative Sex.

The female condom is easy to use and comfortable. And you can insert it into your vagina at your convenience up to 2 hours before penetrative sex, allowing you to get ready for intercourse ahead of time. Actually, due to the ring of its inner end, there is friction on the inner walls and G-Spot of your vagina. You get aroused and are excited and ready for sex.

Disadvantages Of Female Condom

Some common complaints may be valid for female condoms as well as for male condoms, and the reasons why people don't like them include:

  • Female condoms are indeed easy to use; however, some people find it uncomfortable and awkward to insert and wear them vaginally during sex.
  • A female condom, like external condoms, is not accessible and readily available. Because FC2 is the only brand of female condoms or internal condoms approved by the FDA.
  • Female condoms can slip out of place during sex with the penis or sex toys.
  • Some condoms can irritate the skin of your vagina or your partner's penis.
  • This can make the feeling of sex less intense.
  • A female condom is slightly less effective at preventing pregnancy and STDs than a male condom.
  • It can make noises inside the penis (during intercourse).
  • A female condom usually costs more than a male condom.
  • The female condom or internal condom is just one size.

There are some other side effects associated with internal condom use, according to the FDA, including:

  • There may be a rash along with burning and itching in the skin of the penis or vagina.
  • Scratches on the skin of the penis and vagina
  • Discomfort
  • Itching on the skin of the penis and vagina.
  • Risk of leaking semen into contact with a vagina when removing a condom

If this is a problem for you, try making the male condom a part of sex play, which may be a better pleasure for both of your sexual partners.

There Are Some Other Important Things To Consider While Using The Female Condom During Sex

During sex, it's normal to feel the female condom moving around, so pay attention to these problems:

  • Make sure that your male partner's penis goes into the condom and does not come out of the condom during intercourse and enter your vagina directly.
  • Make sure that the outer ring of the inner condom doesn't slip through your vagina during intercourse. If this happens and your partner hasn't ejaculated, you can take the condom out of the vagina and re-insert it.
  • If your partner has ejaculated and you feel that the outer ring or end of the condom has slipped inside your vagina, you should consider using emergency contraception without delay. If possible, talk to your doctor as well.
  • Immediately(as soon as the penis comes out), remove the condom after sex. Close the outer or open end by folding it so the semen does not leak out, then slowly let it out.

Other Important Things That Make A Female Condom Less Effective

  • If the penis touches the area around the vagina before the female condom is inserted into the vagina.
  • If the female condom is pushed too far inside the vagina, its outer end goes inside the vagina by slipping during intercourse.
  • During intercourse, the penis accidentally comes out of the condom. It enters the edge of the vagina and between the condom.
  • You can damage condoms if they accidentally come into contact with sharp nails or other objects.

If this happens, you should switch to other contraceptives without delay or within 3 to 5 days. Consider having both sexual partners take an STI test. 

Some Other Important Things To Note About The Female Condom

  • Women must place a female condom inside the vagina before direct contact between the penis and the vagina.
  • When you buy female condoms or Inner condoms (vaginal condoms), ensure that the package has the European CE mark or UKCA mark. It simply means they have been tested to high safety standards and quality.
  • It is possible that a female condom can be pushed inside the vagina during sex, especially during a hard drive. Still, it can be easily removed and put on again when this happens.
  • Like the male condom, the female condom is designed for single use, so you should not reuse it, and each time you have sex, make sure you are using a new condom.
  • The last date of use is written on the packaging of the condom; check it carefully, and make sure that you do not use an expired condom.

Use Of Extra Lubricants

Like male condoms, female condoms or internal condoms come pre-lubricated to make them easier to use. But if you want extra lube for pleasure or comfort, you can also use extra lube.

Unlike the male condom, it does not contain any added lubricants. And to find out which additional lubricants are appropriate with condoms, check the packet, and read the directions.

Conclusion

Suppose a female condom or internal condom is used correctly. In that case, it is suitable to help prevent unwanted pregnancy and the spread of STIs. Plus it offers a more enjoyable, allergy-free, and effective way.

Read and follow package directions carefully to insert and remove the condom inside the vagina.

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