Video Q & A:

Condoms

Question:

What is the female condom?

Expert:   Logan Levkoff Ph.D, Sex Educator »

What is the female condom? How do you insert female condoms, anyway? Get the answers to these questions and more with this birth control video.

Transcript: Like the male condom, the female condom forms a barrier between YOU and genital secretions—that means it prevents pregnancy AND STIs. It kind of looks like a baggier LONGER condom with an OPEN ring at one end and a CLOSED one at the other. There are a few benefits the female condom has over the male condom. A woman can insert this condom HOURS before sex, so there’s some room for spontaneity. Some couples PREFER it to the male condom, since the looser fit gives the guy more room to move around, and unlike the MALE condom, it DOESN’T have to be taken out immediately after ejaculation. To use it, a woman squeezes the sides of the closed end and inserts it far into her vagina—until it reaches the cervix. Once she can no longer feel the inner ring, it’s positioned correctly and ready for use. BUT make sure the guy doesn’t ACCIDENTALLY enter the VAGINA instead of the condom. The FDA has approved TWO types of female condom—FC1, made of polyurethane, and FC2, made of synthetic latex. They both come with a water-based lubricant, have a shelf life of five years, and the polyurethane in the FC1 version means that it’s not vulnerable to temperature—so you can store it anywhere! The female condom offers the SAME protection against HIV, gonorrhea, chlamydia, trichomoniasis, and other STIs as the MALE condom. AND, since it covers up more of a woman’s vulva, it may be even more effective at preventing genital ulcer diseases such as herpes and chancroid which often come with sores and warts in areas NOT protected by the male condom. As far as PREGNANCY is concerned, female condoms are ALMOST as effective as male condoms, when they’re used exactly as directedOnly available since the ‘90s, there are a few myths worth disproving about the female condomIt DOESN’T make much noise during sex. It DOES require a little more practice to use, but is definitely worth the effort. The inner ring DOESN’T hurt if it’s inserted correctly. Even though the female condom is placed INSIDE the woman, it WON’T get lost in there! More »

Can't Find an Answer? Send us your question »