Female condom

What is the female condom?
How does the female condom work?

Who can use the female condom?

How do I use the female condom?

What are the advantages, possible side effects/problems of the female condom?

Remember

What is the female condom?

The female condom, Reality Female Condom®, is a soft, thin, loose-fitting polyurethane sheath with two flexible rings at each end that is inserted in the vagina. The inner ring at the closed end of the condom is used to insert the condom and to keep it in place. The outer ring at the open-end of the condom stays outside the vagina and partially covers and protects the lips of the vagina. The female condom is 79 to 95 per cent effective if used the right way.

How does the female condom work?

The female condom prevents semen (sperm) from entering the vagina and it prevents the exchange or bodily fluids between both partners. The female condom protects against unintended pregnancy and sexually transmitted infections and HIV.

Who can use the female condom?

Women can use the female condom for vaginal sex and anal sex. It can also be used by men for anal sex.

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How do I use the female condom?

  • Find a comfortable position. Stand with one foot up on a chair, or sit with knees apart, or lie down
  • Be sure the inner ring is at the bottom, closed-end of the pouch
  • If you wish, add a drop of extra lubricant to the closed-end outside ring for extra comfort when you insert the condom
  • Hold the condom with the open end hanging down. While holding the outside of the pouch, squeeze the inner ring with your thumb and middle finger
  • Place your index finger between the thumb and middle finger and keep squeezing the inner ring. With the other hand, spread the labia (lips) of your vagina and insert it into the vagina
  • Push the inner ring and the condom all the way up into the vagina with your index finger. Check to be sure the inner ring is up just past the pubic bone
  • Before intercourse, make sure the condom is not twisted and that the outside ring lies against the vulva
  • During intercourse, side to side movement of the ring is normal, but if you feel the ring slip into the vagina or the penis starts to enter underneath the condom, stop
  • After intercourse, the condom should be removed before you stand up. Squeeze and twist the outer ring to keep the sperm inside the condom. Pull out gently. Throw away in a trashcan
  • Use a new condom every time you have sex

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What are the advantages, possible side effects/problems of the female condom?

Advantages

  • A woman can place it herself and has full control of the effectiveness (the woman controls the show)
  • Protects against unintended pregnancy and STIs/HIV
  • It adjusts well to the vagina
  • Non-latex
  • Compatible with oil-based products

Possible side effects/problems

  • Allergy to polyurethane and irritation
  • Slippage
  • Insertion difficulties
  • The inner ring may cause discomfort during sex

Remember

  • The female condom can be inserted up to eight hours before sex
  • The female condom and the male condom should not be used together; use one or the other, not both
  • Call the AIDS & Sexual Health Info Line at 613-563-2437 if you have questions or need help
  • For more information on the female condom, please consult this Web site: www.sexualityandu.ca

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