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Female condoms - a better alternative

found in Healthy living beauty articles
Posted on: 2007-03-03 by Consuela Taisia


Female condoms have been a viable solution to many sexual-related disorders ever since 1992 in Europe and 1993 in the US, when officially approved by the Food and Drug Administration.

Similar to male condom, the female condom is made of approximately 17 cm long polyurethane sheath, destined to be worn during sexual intercourse and protect against sexually transmitted diseases and unwanted pregnancy. The condom, if correctly applied, lines the vagina completely acting as a barrier between external environment and genital organs. Fastening of the condom is provided by the flexible ring introduced into the vagina, while the second ring at the other end is fixed around the entrance to the vagina. Thus, the condom maintains a firm position inside the vagina during sexual performance.

Female condoms   female condoms in shops

Female condoms are initially lubricated with a silicone containing substance, but depending on personal needs, additional lubrication is also possible. However, it is not recommended that both partners wear condoms simultaneously, as the risk of breaking is increased due to latex-polyurethane frictions. Also, keep in mind that female condoms are not provided with spermicidal substance.

How to use female condoms

The correct application of the condom is conditioned by several factors.:

  • First of all, a comfortable position at the moment of insertion is necessary. From woman to woman, it may differ. Some may choose to raise one leg, others to lie down or sit on a chair.
  • Secondly, the right position of the condom implies that the closed end should be introduced into the vagina and take special care at fixing the inner ring after gently guiding it upwards.
    The ring is fixed when there is no more to go up.
  • Thirdly, and importantly, users are recommended to double check whether the condom is switched or straight. If switched, the condom becomes easily breakable or bunches up and down losing protective properties. Even though uncomfortable it is advisable to have the penis guided inside the vagina at the beginning of the sexual intercourse to prevent condom breaking or slipping.
  • Fixation is also ensured by having the condom well lubricated. In case of slipping in and out or breaking, sexual intercourse should be ceased and replace the old condom with a new one.
Female Condoms  Insertion of a female condom  Extraction of a female condom

Female condoms are pulled out by twisting the external ring so that the sperm spermicidal liquid stays inside.

Restrictions for female condoms

Even though it may seem possible, female condoms are designed for one use only.
Repeated uses of the same condom decrease its prophylactic properties and may have adverse reactions, including pregnancy.

Difficulties in using female condoms may refer to insertion or the alien feeling they feature at first. However, adjustment to alien item may decrease both disturbances in time.

Pros & Cons

As any other medical product, female condoms have both up and down sides.

Positive aspects include mutual responsibility within a couple of using condoms. Men often justify their denial of wearing condoms by claiming they only experience half of pleasure when using them. Female condoms may allow male partners to give them up and women to take full responsibility for birth control and sexual health.

On the other hand, female condoms are made of polyurethane, instead of latex as male condoms, thus, allergenic reactions as well as the risk of breakage are significantly decreased in women. Moreover, embarrassment in applying the condom right before sexual intercourse in men is eliminated with female condoms. A female condom may be applied up to 8 hours before performance, maintaining thus spontaneity of the moment. Not only do female condoms allow oil-containing lubricants, but they are also thin enough to provide a natural feeling.

Nevertheless, many women complain about the unaesthetic aspect of the external ring coming out of the vagina after application and the embarrassing repetitive noise caused at friction. Removing and insertion are generally viewed as uncomfortable, while costs may turn expensive in certain countries, usually where availability is also restricted.

Female condoms: When?

Female condoms are NOT recommended for anal sexual intercourse, as it may results into a painful and bleeding experience. Conclusively, male condoms are considered more appropriate, by comparison, but only those lacking Nonoxynol 9.
Female condoms have revealed themselves highly effective especially in high infection risk areas like African countries. However, they may be the right answer to a woman’s most suitable birth control and STD preventive questions.

Read more on this topic:

FC & FC2 Female Condom
Condoms for women
FDA - Obstetrical and Gynecological Devices; Classification of Female Condoms

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