What is Female Condom?

Sep 18, 2009
Female condom is a barrier method of contraception, which can be used for protection against unwanted pregnancy and sexually transmitted diseases. The condom represents a polyurethane sheath that covers vagina and cervix, preventing sperm from entering the vagina. The sheath has two flexible rings: one that covers the cervix and keeps the condom in place and the other ring that is outside at the opening of the vagina. A woman should insert the female condom before the intercourse. Female condom is considered 79-95% effective in preventing pregnancy.

Why to use female condom?

Many women choose female condom because it offers a number of advantages over other methods of birth control:
  • Woman can take responsibility for contraception when using barrier methods, especially when a man does not want to use a condom.

  • Female condom is made of polyurethane, which is less likely to cause allergic reaction for partners, who have allergy to latex.

  • A woman can insert the female condom several hours prior to the vaginal intercourse, so that partners won't need to interrupt to put it on

  • The material of female condom is thinner and offers more natural sensations during intercourse.

Types of Female Condom

Nowadays there are different types of female condoms available in the market .The most popular versions are FC condom (also known as Reality condom) and FC2 made by the Female Health Company.

The FC2 condom is a cheaper version of female condom, which makes it more affordable. The difference lies in the material of these female condoms. The FC condom is made of polyurethane, while FC2 is made of synthetic nitrile, which are equally effective in preventing unwanted pregnancy and STD's.

There are also other types of female condoms, which are currently not FDA approved and include:
  • The Reddy Female Condom, which is made of latex and has a sponge at one end instead of the ring.

  • The PATH Woman's condom, is currently in development, and will seek FDA approval. It is designed for easy and more comfortable insertion, improved fit and affordability.

  • The Natural Sensation Panty Condom which represents a panty with condom made of synthetic resin, which can be reused.

Many people ask if female condom can be reused because of its high cost The WHO recommends using female condom only once and apply a new female condom for every intercourse. This is due to the fact that many women will not follow the proper care and cleaning of the female condom. Also the efficacy of female condom after reuse was not consistently studied. However, the WHO protocol says that in situations where new female condoms are not available or affordable, the female condom can be used up to five times, provided that the condom is cleaned and handled according to WHO guidelines.

It is also important to note that female condom should not be used together with male condom because it can lead to the damage of the condoms.