The pros and cons of female condoms

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One of the measures to preventing pregnancy and sexually transmitted diseases is the use of female condom which is a flexible pouch inserted into the vagina or anus prior to sex.  In the course of the intercourse, these thin silicone-coated polyurethane or nitrile sheaths collect ejaculated semen.


The female condom is different in outlook when compare with the male condom. Female condoms are pouches with a soft, flexible ring on each end. The ring on the closed end is inserted into the vagina and holds the condom in place. The open-ended ring remains outside of the vagina during sex.

It is important to note that a female condom can be inserted up to 8 hours before intercourse, it should be used once and must be removed female immediately after sexual intercourse.

For a female condom to be effective in preventing pregnancy, it must be used correctly. Female condoms are 95 percent effective in preventing pregnancy when used correctly, with a 5 percent failure rate. When female condoms are not always used correctly, their effectiveness in preventing pregnancy drops to 79 percent, with a 21 percent failure rate.

Although female condoms offer some protection from sexually transmitted infection, more extensive research is needed in this area. Male and female condoms should not be used at the same time due to the risk of breakage or tearing.

Important features of female condoms

If used correctly, however, female condoms have a failure rate of 5 percent

Female condoms do not usually contain latex

Female condoms protect a wider area of the body than male condoms

Female condoms are not as effective at preventing pregnancy than male condoms

Each female condom can only be used once

Female condoms can usually be purchased over the counter at pharmacies


Safe, simple and convenient


Useful during menstrual periods

Used with spermicide

Inserted up to 8 hours in advance or inserted as part of sexual foreplay

Usable in the presence of a latex allergy

Can be used with oil-, silicone-, and water-based lubricants

Offers additional protection of the labia, perineum, and base of the penis from the human papillomavirus (HPV) and herpes

External ring may enhance clitoral stimulation in some women

No need of a male erection to keep the condom in place.

Birth control methods


Vaginal, vulvar, anal, or penile irritation

Allergic reaction

Vaginal discomfort

Reduced sexual sensation and possible noise with sex

Less discreet than other forms of contraception

Lower efficacy rate than other non-barrier methods

Costly than male condoms


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