At a Glance:
Pouch inserted inside the vagina to collect sperm
Protects against STIs (sexually transmitted infections)
Easy to put on and dispose of
Each condom is for one time use only
95% effective with perfect use; 79% effective with typical use
What is it?
A female condom is a pouch made out of polyurethane that fits inside the vagina which collects sperm during intercourse, preventing pregnancy and sexually transmitted infections (STIs). It looks like a small bag with two small plastic rings at both ends. One of the rings is fitted inside the vagina and one stays outside. They help to keep the condom in place during intercourse.
Female condoms prevent both pregnancy and STIs and allow women to be in control when it comes to their sexual health. The female condom can be inserted up to eight hours before sex, so there’s no need to ask a partner to put on a condom in the heat of the moment.
It is important to note that using a female condom with a male condom at the same time will not make sex safer but could cause friction which could result in the condoms breaking.
When used correctly every time, the female condom is 95% effective. When not used as directed it is 79% effective.
Female condoms work to prevent pregnancy by covering the inside of the vagina. They collect pre-cum and semen when a man ejaculates. This keeps sperm from entering the vagina. Pregnancy cannot happen if sperm cannot join with an egg.
By covering the inside of the vagina and keeping semen and pre-cum out, condoms also reduce the risk of sexually transmitted infections (STIs).
Female condoms are really pretty easy to use, but it takes a bit of practice and getting used to. Remember, if you’re relying on female condoms, you have to use one EVERY SINGLE TIME you have sex and you cannot reuse a female condom.
Before using a female condom, check the expiry date and that the package is properly sealed.
How to insert a female condom:
1. Put some lubricant on the outside of the closed end.
2. Get comfy and relax your muscles.
3. Squeeze the sides of the closed-end ring together and insert into your vagina with your finger.
4. Push the ring as far into your vagina as it’ll go, all the way to your cervix (which will feel a little harder than your vaginal walls).
5. Pull out your finger and let the outer ring hang about an inch outside your vagina. (Yes, it’ll look a little funny, but it will keep you safe!)
How to remove a female condom:
1. Squeeze the outer ring and twist it closed like a baggie, so semen doesn’t spill out.
2. Pull the condom out gently.
3. Throw it away in a trash can (preferably one that is out of the reach of children and pets). Don’t put it down the toilet!
- No latex used, therefore safe for people with latex allergy
- No hormones
- Helps protect both partners from STIs
- The outer ring may stimulate a woman’s clitoris, which can make sex more pleasurable
- No prescription necessary
- Can be used with both oil-based and water-based lube
Stays in place even if the man loses his erection
- May make sounds during use
- New one must be used each time
- Can cause irritation
- Can be tricky to insert
- Does look funny during sex
Not as widely available as male condoms