When we think of condoms, we commonly assume it’s a man thing, and that only men have to worry about using a condom. While condoms are customarily used by men, female condoms also exist for women.
The female condom is also known as an internal condom. It is inserted into the vagina prior to having sex. The first time I saw it was during an update course in infection control and I wondered how many people will be inspired to use it. I am sure some Niger men won’t even consider using it except in extreme circumstances.
Have you ever seen a female condom? If not, let me describe it for you! It looks like a slimy, deflated, bread bag or small transparent plastic bag that has two plastic rings on both ends. I wonder who made, because the few people that have used it report it feels like having sex in a water proof bag! Please can someone make a sexier version?
For what it currently looks like, a lot of things work against it – difficult to wear, inserting it feels like wedging a plastic bag into your vagina! You can’t even be sure you are using it right! In this case, would sex be enjoyable? I don’t know.
Despite the negative vibes, the female condom serves a purpose – protection.
What is a female condom?
It is a pre-lubricated polyurethane sheath formed in the shape of a round upside down pouch that a woman inserts into her vagina before intercourse. It has a closed end and an open end, the closed end is inserted into the vagina, while the open end faces outward, and forms the entrance for the penis. It mainly serves a bag to hold sperm and prevent it from entering the vagina.
Why use a female condom?
It is unwise only to rely solely on the man for protection against some of the undesired results of sex. A female condom can help a woman prevent unwanted pregnancy and also reduce the chances of contracting sexually transmitted diseases (STDs). Besides, while the failure rate of a male condom is 14-15% that of the female condom is just 5%.
How to use a female condom
A few things to keep in mind before using a female condom are to practice inserting it on your own before sex, especially if it is your first time. That way it becomes easier to use during sex; also always check the expiry date before use, expired condoms have very high failure rates. Although, you will find how-to-use instructions on the packet of the condom, it is also wise to seek advice from a health professional.
When you are ready to use it, take the female condom out from its packet carefully, do not use your teeth, sharp fingernails or jewelry for obvious reasons. Find a comfortable position sitting, standing or squatting, and insert the smaller ring at the closed end of the condom into the vagina, pushing it as far as it will go. The condom is usually 17cm (6.7 inches) long. The large ring at the open end of the condom will cover the vaginal opening and hang loosely from the body.
During sex the penis should enter into the female condom, you can gently guide your partner through this process. After intercourse, twist the large ring of the condom to avoid leaking of the semen, and then gently pull out the condom, and dispose of it.
How will it affect sex life?
In case you are wondering how a female condom will affect you or your partners’ sexual satisfaction, the answer is not in a major way. At first using a condom whether male or female is uncomfortable, or not entirely pleasing; after a while, though, you and your partner get used to it and sex becomes just as enjoyable and much safer. In fact, research has shown that men prefer female condoms to their male condoms, the reason being female condoms are not tight on the penis, and do not dull sexual sensations. Also, to spice things up you and your partner can use the condom for foreplay, rubbing the inner ring around the clit can be very arousing and allows easier insertion.
Are there any disadvantages?
- Inserting a female condom for the first time can be painful for some women.
- For some people, it keeps sliding around
- Condoms can make certain noises during sex.
- It can irritate the vagina, vulva, anus or penis.
- Some people complain of it feeling unnatural
- It is more expensive than male condoms.
- Not as available as male condoms.
However, a lot of these problems can be solved by using a good brand of condom.
What brands of female condoms are available?
Based on location there are several brands of female condoms available. Some good brands include FC2 female condoms; they are cheaper than most female condoms have great reviews. Glyde female condom is also another excellent brand; it is made with extra silky, natural rubber latex, so it feels great for both partners. Some other brands worth mentioning include Elegance, Della, and protective female condoms.
What to do if the condom breaks
Female condoms rarely break but can if there is already a tear or puncture on the condom, if it’s in bad condition, or if it’s expired. If a female condom does break and semen spills into the vagina, the best thing to do is to try and push out as much semen as you can, and avoid washing your vagina or anus, as this can cause irritation and even spread infection. Take a birth control pill as soon as possible to prevent pregnancy, and go a clinic for a sexual health test and seek help from a sexual health professional. It is also good to know that female condoms can be used during anal sex just like vaginal sex to prevent the entry of sperm, and reduce chances of STIs.
Share your thoughts about your experience with female condoms, thank you.