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International Women's Day Spl: What Are Female Condoms And How To Use Them

Female condoms are one of the effective methods for contraception for women. It is made up of polyurethane instead of synthetic latex, with which most of the male condoms are made.

The failure rate of female condoms is only around five per cent when compared to other means of contraception such as pills, vaginal rings and birth control patches. These condoms are made to be worn inside the vagina to prevent semen from moving towards the womb.

Many women are not aware of this means of contraception, and those who are aware still find it difficult to choose it for preventing pregnancies due to complex factors like decision-making power in relationships and knowledge. [1]

This International Women's Day, we will discuss details on female condoms. Take a look.

Benefits Of Female Condoms

According to a study, of many contraceptive barriers, female condoms are under-utilised in many developing countries, including India. This could be because of the deep-rooted patriarchal cultures in which women don't have voice over contraception [2]

Though female condoms are not widely accepted by women, they have many benefits to look to:

1. Security

Female condoms can be placed inside the vagina for several hours before sexual intercourse without any side effects. This gives women a feeling of security and protection against unintended pregnancies. Female condoms take the stress off the female partner and help her enjoy sex better. [3]

2. Prevent range of STDs and HIV

Unprotected sexual intercourse is not only responsible for unwanted pregnancies but also for a range of sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) such as hepatitis and AIDS. Female condoms may help provide coverage both inside and outside of the vagina and thus, prevent the transfer of infections. [4]

3. Provide sexual pleasure

There is a lot of misconception related to the use of female condoms and sexual pleasure. The use of condoms could be linked to 'negative feelings' in many parts of the country. However, this is not the case. Studies say that sexual pleasure has broad meanings and include many factors like an intimate relationship, individual characteristics, physical health and social status and quality of life. The use of female condoms could be an encouraging factor for sexual pleasure due to lubrication and assured safe sex. [5]

4. Prevent pregnancies

As aforementioned, the failure rate of female condoms is five per cent and thus, they could be used to prevent unwanted pregnancies. According to a study, female condoms provide the same degree of protection against pregnancies compared to male condoms made with latex. [6]

Downsides Of Female Condoms

The downside of this contraception is that it is costly compared to male condoms.

You can get the condoms at any clinics or drugstores

How To Use A Female Condom?

  • Carefully open the condom packet.
  • There will be an inner and an outer ring.
  • The inner ring is thick and meant to be placed inside the vagina while the outer ring is meant to cover the vaginal opening.
  • Squeeze the sides of the inner thick ring with a thumb and forefinger.
  • Stand with one foot on a table or in a squat position for easy insertion.
  • Push the condoms inside the vagina as far as you can or until it rests in a cervix.
  • Make sure the outer ring also cover the outer vagina and is not twisted.
  • Before intercourse, make sure to use your hand to allow proper insertion of the penis into the condoms.
  • After intercourse, twist the condom and remove it.

Things To Know

  • Before buying a condom, make sure to check the expiry date and also its authentication such as from FDA or ISO.
  • Use the condom from the start to finish of sexual intercourse.
  • Avoid keeping condom packets at hot places or even in pockets.
  • While tearing the packet, do it slowly to make sure you won't rip it. Also, avoid using scissors.
  • Avoid reading or flushing the condoms.
  • Avoid using both male and female condoms simultaneously as this may cause friction and cause breakage. Either of the partners must use just one way of contraception.

To Conclude

Female condoms are undiscussed in major parts of the country. Using them effectively helps in contraception, prevents STDs and provides sexual satisfaction.