Description of the Female Condom:
The Female Condom (FC2) (buy direct
) is a soft, transparent tubular sheath about 6.5 inches long, with a flexible ring at each end. Female condoms are inserted into the vagina prior to sexual intercourse and provide protection against both pregnancy and STDs, including HIV/AIDS. The inner right at the closed end of the condom aids in insertion and secures the device in place during intercourse, while the softer ring remains outside the vagina. They can not be reused and are made of non latex nitrile.
How to Use the Female Condom:
Female condoms can only be used once. They can be inserted up to 8 hours before intercourse. Using a female condom can take some practice. It is recommended you try it at least once before you plan to use it for sex, see these step by step instructions on using the female condom
Failure Rates for the Female Condom:
With typical use, approximately 21 out of 100 women will become pregnant, but that number drops to 5 out of 100 women becoming pregnant with perfect use.
Cost of the Female Condom:
This is the greatest drawback to the female condom, as each condom costs around $3.00, and they may only be used once.
Where to Get the Female Condom:
Female condoms do not require a prescription, and are available at most pharmacies, drug store chains, and many public health clinics.
Side Effects of the Female Condom:
There are no significant side effects from the female condom. It is not made of latex, so it is safe for people with latex allergies.
Benefits of the Female Condom:
- Female condom provides some external genital barrier protection, and may offer more protection against STDs that are transmitted from skin to skin contact.
- Female condom can be inserted up to 8 hours prior to intercourse.
- Female condom is good for people with latex allergies
- The external ring may provide clitoral stimulation for some women
Drawback of the Female Condom:
- The high cost is the primary drawback.
- The female condom may slip into the vagina during intercourse. This is not dangerous, but make the condom ineffective unless it is corrected.
Contraception Information on About.com:
The following information is compiled from a variety of sources, including the CDC, information from drug manufacturers, Planned Parenthood, and Family Health International.
We strive to keep this information up to date, but new studies and information about side effects and effectiveness may not be reflected immediately in this information. This should be used as a guide only, and a health care professional should be consulted when considering a new or changed contraceptive method.