Female condom: how and why to use it

Seriously, are there female condoms? Yes, there is. A female condom is a barrier method of contraception, technically the same as a male condom. It is a thin, soft, loose-fitting shell with a flexible ring at each end. One of the sides is closed.

The inner ring at the closed end is used for ease of insertion into the vagina and keeping the condom in place during intercourse. The outer ring on the other side remains outside the vagina and covers part of the external genitalia.

Female condom how and why to use it

Who and why the invented female condom?

“Invented female condoms the Danish doctor Lasse Hessel. At the same time, their first prototypes were created in the 80s in response to high rates of HIV infection in Africa, – says Dr. Bondarenko. – They were invented for the sole purpose of protecting a woman in developing countries, third world countries from the consequences of male aggression and violence. From an unwanted pregnancy and from sexually transmitted infections during sexual intercourse with a partner who does not want to use a male condom. ”

According to Bondarenko, the UN Population Fund distributed them free of charge to women of these countries. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) then approved the release and use in the United States of the first version of the female condom (FC1) in 1993. That is, they went on sale almost 25 years after the creation.

FC1 was made of polyurethane, they were extremely uncomfortable, often falling out, and from friction in the process of sexual intercourse, there were various unpleasant sounds.

“In 2009, they were completely replaced by female condoms of the second version (FC2), made of a more elastic and thin material – nitrile, which significantly improved their quality,” said Dr. Bondarenko.

Now on sale in different countries use female condoms made of nitrile (the basis is a synthetic analog of rubber) and latex (the basis is rubber).

Why did not female condom become popular?

In the opinion of Meet Our Advocates: Dr. Dawn Bingham obstetrician-gynecologist Dawn Bingham, one of the reasons for the extremely low popularity of female condoms is the lack of a competent advertising campaign, which, in turn, is difficult to implement technically.

Demonstrate how to use a male condom, easily on any subject of a phallic form, even without the erotic overtones: everything is visually and on a banana.

To demonstrate the use of a female condom, one has to use images of the genitalia in a section, which for a large-scale distribution looks like a real problem. Tampons once did not manage to sell for the same reason.

If there are available male condoms that have been used for centuries, the choice is obvious. The authors of the site Vox tried to buy female condoms, traveled half of the city and did not find them in any pharmacy.

It turned out that in the US there is only one manufacturer of female condoms, which you can buy only on their website. By the way, the male author in order to buy a male condom did not have to go out even from the building where he works.

“Female condoms are underestimated, as the advantages of tampons were once underestimated. At the dawn of their appearance, in the 1930s, they were used by only 4-6% of women, – says Dr. Bondarenko. – This problem, in my opinion, is bipolar: on the one hand, women’s condoms are a way to protect disadvantaged women from third world countries, on the other – the attribute of feminism, the need for a woman who regulates her sex life and childbearing self-defends herself themselves from infections, without relying on the decisions of sometimes irresponsible (and maybe infected) sexual partners.

The appearance of a female condom is a completely tangible right of every woman to independence in sexual matters and a small but significant victory on the way to gender equality.

According to Bondarenko, another limitation that prevents the widespread use of female condoms for permanent use is their relatively high cost – 2-3 times higher than male counterparts.

“An important factor preventing a young woman from even starting to think in this direction, in my opinion, is the seeming complexity of introducing a female condom, although the instruction is very simple and freely available, for example, on the site of the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. And it is designed for a perfectly normal person, “says Bondarenko.

Female condom how and why to use it 1

According to researchersContraceptive Use in the United States, women 15-45 years in the United States do sterilization more often than women using condoms: 15% versus 0.2%. Moreover, 0.2% is the item “other methods”, which includes not only female condoms.

n another study female condom use at high risk of sexually transmitted disease, aimed at popularizing female condoms, observations showed the following results: by the end of the study, 8% of participants used the exclusively female condom, 15% exclusively male condom, 73% both types of condoms.

How effective are female condom?

Dr. Bondarenko says that female condoms, along with masculine ones, refer to barrier methods of contraception, which are based on a mechanical obstacle in the way of meeting the sperm and egg.

The effectiveness of any method of contraception is estimated by the Perl index – a failure rate that is equal to the number of unplanned conceptions for one year in 100 women using a particular method of contraception. The lower this indicator, the more reliable the method of contraception.

“But it is necessary to distinguish the effectiveness of the method with its ideal use and in the real. It is believed that Perl’s ideal index for female condoms is about 5 (for men – about 2), says Bondarenko. – However, for the ideal use of any method, you must comply with all the conditions and recommendations for its use, starting from all the time requirements, ending with the technique.

Of course, this requires a certain experience, accumulated, as a rule, with age, and the lack of necessary skills will increase the probability of pregnancy, even when using very effective methods of contraception, which are female condoms.

If we talk about the real effectiveness of protection against unwanted pregnancies of male and female condoms, then it is generally comparable and amounts to about 80%. ”

Also, the female condom covers a wider area than the maleWhat are the female condoms and how are they used? Thus, it can provide additional protection against diseases of the labia, perineum, and base of the penis.

How to use the female condom?

1. Preparation

Check the expiration date on the package. If everything is in order, open the package and gently remove the female condom, trying not to break it. Do not open the bag with your teeth.

Female condom how and why to use it 2

The female condom is already lubricated, but you can add more lubricant if you want. Dr. Karina Bondarenko adds that female condoms necessarily mean the use of lubricants that are injected into the condom or applied to the penis.

Depending on the material from which the female condom is made, different types of lubricants can be used. Lubricants on water or silicone basis are safe for use with any female condom.

Lubricants based on oils cannot be used simultaneously with latex condoms, because under their influence, latex is destroyed.

2. Inward administration

Relax and take a comfortable position. Standing with one foot on a chair, lying down or squatting – any posture in which you are used to inserting a tampon will do.

Squeeze the smaller ring on the closed end of the condom and insert it into the vagina, as you enter the tampon.

Female condom how and why to use it 4

Insert the inner ring into the vagina, as far as possible, up to the cervix.

Insert a finger into the condom, so you spread it, push it further and check if it is twisted.

Female condom how and why to use it 5

Make sure that the large ring on the open end of the condom covers the area around the vaginal opening. Everything, now you can spend with a condom inside up to 10 hours.

3. Sex

Make sure that the penis enters the condom, and not between the condom and the side of the vagina.

4. Extraction

After sex, immediately remove the condom. First, twist the outer ring to keep the sperm inside the bag.

Female condom how and why to use it 5

Gently pull out the condom, trying not to sperm.

Throw a condom in the trash can, and not into the toilet.

Are there any risks?

According to Dr. Karina Bondarenko, in some cases, the use of female condoms can cause irritation of the vagina, vulva, penis or anus.

“Sometimes [such a condom] weakens the sensation of sexual intercourse, but, on the other hand, can improve the quality of sexual relations due to the fact that the outer ring of the condom can further stimulate the clitoris or penis in vaginal coitus. There is also a small risk of slipping into the vagina or anus or falling out during intercourse, which reduces the degree of protection from both unwanted pregnancy and sexually transmitted infections, “sums up Bondarenko.

What are their advantages and disadvantages?


  1. With proper use, female condoms are effective at 95%How effective are female condoms? (masculine – by 98%How effective are condoms? ).
  2. ProtectFemale condoms from pregnancy and sexually transmitted infections (STIs), including HIV.
  3. Made of safe materials.
  4. Easy to use.
  5. You can insert for 8-10 hours before sex and do not spend this time in the process of caresses.
  6. Can be used during menstruation.
  7. It can be used with a spermicide (a contraceptive that destroys sperm).
  8. People who are allergic to latex can use it.
  9. A female condom does not require a male erection to hold it in place.
  10. Controlled by a woman.


  1. If used improperly, female condoms are effective at 79%How effective are female condoms? (for men – by 85%How effective are condoms? ).
  2. More research is needed to assert that 100% effectiveness of protection against STIsWhat are the female condoms and how are they used?
  3. A condom can get too far into the vagina, but it can be easily removed if this happens.
  4. It may not be suitable for women who are uncomfortable when something touches their genital area (and the outer ring of the female condom will lie over the labia).
  5. If a woman has an infection of the reproductive tract (candidiasis, bacterial vaginosis), then when you insert a condom 8-10 hours before sex, you can increase odor, itching, discharge and so on. So, Dr. Bondarenko recommends, in that case, to introduce a condom immediately before sex.
  6. Specialists Female condoms for anal sex did not come to a consensus, whether it is possible to use a female condom during anal sex. Technically, this is possible, but there were difficulties with the introduction, slippage. Since female condoms are thinner than male condoms, they were torn, and the respondents complained of stronger pains than with conventional condoms and bleeding at the receiving partner.
  7. A rustling sound during intercourse is still possible.

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