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Did You Know?

Female Condoms

Used properly, female condoms can be an effective way to reduce the risk of transmitting sexually-transmitted diseases (STDs).

Female condoms are made of strong plastic and are placed inside the vagina before intercourse.

Like a male condom, a female condom has a closed end and an open end. A flexible ring on the closed end helps a woman guide it into her vagina with her finger. (A partner can also help with insertion and many couples make this part of their foreplay.) The condom is in place once the ring reaches cervix.

Once inserted, another ring on the open end hangs about an inch from the vagina. This helps protect the vulva, the area around the vaginal opening. When it is time for intercourse, the penis is guided through the ring and into the vagina.  Afterward, the condom should be gently removed (making sure the semen stays inside it) and thrown away.

Some women find they need some practice inserting female condoms before they start using them regularly. Many find using a lubricant helpful.

Female condoms can be found at most pharmacies. Many women like them because they have more control over safer sex. Also, the female condoms can be inserted up to 8 hours before intercourse, allowing for more flexibility and spontaneity.

Like male condoms, female condoms do not provide 100% protection from STDs or pregnancy.

If you have any questions about using female condoms, be sure to ask your pharmacist or gynecologist.