79% typical; 95% perfect.
Affordable, non-hormonal, easily reversible, no script required.
Susceptible to imperfect use and breakage, interrupts sex, can be difficult to access.
How does a female condom work?
The female condom is the reverse of the male condom. Where the male condom wraps the outside of the penis, the female condom wraps the inside of the vaginal canal. As with the male condom, it creates a barrier between genitals, preventing sperm from getting to the egg and preventing any bacteria or infections from moving between partners.
Tip: As with male condoms, lubricant is strongly advised. The biggest hurdle with a female condom is potentially slipping between the outside of the sheath and into the vagina, so until you’re familiar with it, make sure you proceed with caution.
How do I use a female condom?
Female condoms are a great alternative to the male condom, if you’re looking for protection against STIs as well as pregnancy. They can be a bit tricky to get the hang of, so make sure you go slow with them until you’re more familiar.
Step 1. Make sure the there has been no contact between genitals before using the female condom. Even brief contact can be enough to contract an STI or to cause a pregnancy.
Step 2. Check the expiration date on the female condom before unwrapping.
Step 4. The female condom should come pre-lubricated, but feel free to apply a little more water or silicone based lubricant if you want to.
Step 5. Relax and get yourself into a comfortable position. If you use tampons, it can be helpful to get into a similar position to insert the female condom.
Step 6. Squeeze together the sides of the inner ring at the closed end of the condom and slide it into your vagina like a tampon.
Step 7. Push the inner ring into your vagina as far as it can go, up to your cervix. Make sure it’s not twisted. If you’re finding it difficult to get it far enough inside, don’t be afraid to use a sex toy to help give you the extra reach. Alternatively, your partner can insert it for you and incorporate it into foreplay.
Step 8. Pull out your finger or sex toy and let the outer ring hang about an inch outside the vagina, folding the coverage back so it covers your vulva.
Step 9. Guide your partner’s penis into the opening of the condom, making sure it doesn’t slip to the side between the condom and your vaginal walls.
Step 10. To use the female condom for anal sex, remove the inner ring and insert the condom into your anus with your finger, leaving the outer ring hanging out.
Step 11. After sex, to remove the female condom, twist the ring that’s outside your body to close the condom and keep the ejaculate inside the pouch, before gently pulling the condom out.
Step 12. Throw the female condom into the rubbish bin. Don’t try and flush it, it will clog your drains.
You need to use a new female condom every time you have sex.Don’t panic if the female condom shifts a little while you’re using it, as long as the penis is completely surrounded by the sheath at all times, you’re still safe.
If the penis slips out of the condom and into your vagina, or if the outer ring gets pushed all the way inside you, stop having sex. If you partner hasn’t ejaculated, gently shift the condom back into place and carry on. If your partner did ejaculate outside the condom, near your vulva or into your vagina, you are at risk for STIs and pregnancy and will need to take the appropriate measures.