Just like male condoms, female condoms are shaped like a tube, with one closed end and one open end. At each end there is a flexible ring. The ring at the closed end holds the female condom in the vagina. Sometimes people chose to remove this ring for anal sex. It all depends on personal preference and what works for you.
How does it work?
Female condoms work because they cover the inside and outside of the anus or vagina. They collect pre-cum and semen when a man ejaculates. This prevents sperm from entering the vagina and causing pregnancy in women. It’s a good idea to read the instructions on the condom packet before you use one. Female condoms should also only be used once, and should not be used at the same time as male condoms, because it can cause at least one of the condoms to tear or move out of place and become ineffective.
How effective is it in preventing pregnancy?
21 in 100 couples typically experience a pregnancy in the first year
How effective is it in preventing STDs?
The Female Condom is effective in preventing most STDs, including HIV.
Other Things to Know about the Female Condom:
- A female condom can be put in before sex and does not need to be removed immediately after sex
- It will reduce the risk of pregnancy and STDs.
- Safe to use with people who are allergic to rubber latex
- Can be inserted before sex
- More expensive than male condoms (about $2 each)
- Can be difficult to find- some stores and clinics don’t carry female condoms
Acknowledgement: This fact sheet was originally developed by youth and staff at ReachOut.com, a website that helps teens get through tough times.