Do you want to know more about the female condom? Have you heard of it and never tried it out? Do you want to know how to use it effectively? Look no further, as we have your intimate guide to all things female condom related! This article will discuss what the female condom is, how to use it effectively and some simple “dos and don’ts”. Hopefully, by the end of this article, you will feel more informed and empowered to give the female condom a go!
The female condom’s roots can be traced back to ancient Greece, where the god Minos inserted a makeshift goat’s bladder condom into his mistress to catch his poisonous ejaculatory fluid. Admittedly a slightly dark start, but since then, the female condom has been around in one form or another until the present day, where it is made of either latex or synthetic latex. (Don’t worry, the goat bladder is long gone). In the present day, the female condom has long been known for empowering female partners and vagina owners to have reproductive control during intercourse.
The female condom, also known as an internal condom or by the brand name Femidom, is a condom which is used internally by placing it into the vaginal canal. This is instead of the “traditional” male condom, which is placed over the shaft of the penis. If you want to read more about male condoms, check out our article on types of condoms.
It is important to note that female condoms can be used by anyone with a vagina, including transgender men and non-binary people.
The female condom is a barrier method of contraception, preventing pregnancy by stopping semen from coming into contact with the vagina. The semen, therefore, cannot reach the womb to fertilise an egg. This also makes it effective for preventing sexually transmitted infections (STIs) spread via semen, vaginal and other bodily fluids. For more details on how to prevent STIs, check out our article 5 Ways to Reduce Your Risk of Getting an STI.
It is important to note that barrier methods, such as male and female condoms, are the only contraceptive methods that can protect you against STIs; if you are worried that you may have an STI, get tested! You can get our Yoxly STI testing kits delivered to your door.
If used correctly, the female condom is 95% effective at preventing pregnancy; however, it must be inserted before the penis comes in contact with the vagina. Unfortunately, the effectiveness drops to around 79% with “typical use," meaning that the condom was not used correctly every time. Some common pitfalls of female condoms failing are if the condom falls out, breaks or is applied incorrectly. The same applies to STIs; the female condom must be in the vagina before any bodily fluids are exchanged and taken out correctly to ensure no fluid in the condom spills into the vagina or genital region. Read on for our step-by-step guide to using a female condom.
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How To Use A Female Condom
- Start by checking the pack for the European CE or UKCA mark to ensure the quality of the condom and ensure the condom has not expired.
- Open the packet carefully - avoid using your teeth or sharp fingernails, which could damage the condom.
- Pick up the condom by the end with the smaller ring and squeeze the ring shut.
- Insert the smaller ring of the condom into the vagina.
- Make sure the larger ring sits at the opening of the vagina, and make sure it covers that area.
- If you are having penetrative sex, ensure the penis goes into the condom and not between the condom and the vaginal wall.
- After sex, remove the female condom immediately by twisting the outer ring to prevent any fluids from spilling out and then gently pull down on the condom to remove it from the vaginal canal.
- Throw the condom away in the bin, and do not reuse it.
Please note the female condom can also be used in the anus during anal sex and is inserted in the same way.
Dos And Don’ts Of The Female Condom.
- Insert the female condom into the vagina before any type of sexual intercourse to prevent both pregnancy and the spread of STIs.
- Only purchase condoms with the European CE or UKCA mark on the packet. Often, this will be a “kite”, meaning the product has been tested to high safety standards. This is the same for all types of condoms.
- Remove immediately after ejaculation or body fluid exchange by twisting the outer ring and pulling.
- Use a female condom which is past its expiry date.
- Reuse a female condom - these are single-use and should be replaced for every episode of intercourse.
Advantages And Disadvantages Of The Female Condom
Like all contraceptive methods, there are advantages and disadvantages to the female condom. Most of these are similar to those of a male condom.
- It is a barrier method and the only method of contraception that can protect against STIs. If you are concerned that you may have an STI, check out our STI testing kits here.
- The female condom can be placed up to 8 hours before sexual intercourse. So if you find stopping sex to put on condoms kills the mood, this is for you!
- Female condoms have been found to increase sexual pleasure, particularly in the partner wearing the female condom, as the outer portion is thought to increase clitorial stimulation, resulting in more pleasure - a win for safe sex!
- Female condoms come pre-lubricated for ease of insertion, but feel free to add some extra if needed. When using lubricants with condoms, always check the packaging to ensure you use the right lubricant. Otherwise, you may damage the condom, and it will be ineffective.
- Anyone with a vagina can use a female condom, and it is safe to use after a miscarriage, abortion and after having a baby.
- It is a form of contraception that only needs to be used when having sex.
- They can be difficult to insert if you are not used to putting them in. So why not turn it into foreplay and get your partner involved to help insert it?
- They can split or tear if used incorrectly, similar to male condoms.
- Like male condoms, some couples find stopping to put on a condom kills the mood during sex, although, as stated above, a female condom can be inserted up to 8 hours before sex. Female condoms can always be “inserted” into your foreplay…! For more information on discussing pleasure with your partner, check out our article for World Sexual Health Day.
Where To Get Female Condoms
Have we convinced you to try a female condom? Want to know where you can get your hands on one? Like male condoms, female condoms are available at your local sexual health clinic, by post or with a C-card from pharmacies or other sexual health stockists. They can also be purchased from various online retailers.
In conclusion, the female condom can be seen as a source of empowerment for women and people with vaginas to take control of their reproductive health. They can take a bit of practice to get used to at the start, but once you can insert them effectively, they are a great barrier method. And as we said, they can also increase sexual pleasure via clitoral stimulation! So it's a win-win - more sexual pleasure and protection against STIs and unintended pregnancy! So if you haven’t tried a female condom, why not give it a go?