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Female Condoms; Not Safe, Not Sexy--Editorial

By HERWriter
 
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I want to preface this article with the statement that I would never, ever want to discourage a person from exploring their birth control options. Each woman has different needs, preferences, experiences and body types, meaning that nobody can know better than her what method is best. Contraceptive devices are truly meant to put a woman in control of her body and reproduction (hence the term birth control!), so whatever empowers you the most, I support and encourage!

That being said, I have very negative feelings towards female condoms. These are some reasons why:

1. They are less effective than male condoms.
According to Planned Parenthood’s information on birth control, five out of every 100 women who use the female condom correctly every time become pregnant each year. (Compared to one out of 100 who get pregnant using a male condom correctly.) Even more frighteningly, if not used correctly every time there is a one in five chance of becoming pregnant! This ridiculously high rate of birth control failure is comparable only to use of the withdrawal method.

2. They are difficult and complicated to insert.
Inserting a female condom is similar to putting in a NuvaRing or a menstrual cup. Shaped like a pouch with a flexible plastic ring at each end, the condom packet recommends that you squat, put a leg up on the toilet or find a position that will allow you to easily push the sealed end of the pouch into your vagina until it reaches your cervix, leaving the open end of the condom hanging about an inch outside of your body. Unless you have practiced this action a couple times and have a good sense of the product’s placement and your own anatomy, it can take quite a long time.

3. They can be messy.
After ejaculation, the condom must be removed very carefully in order to prevent spilling the semen back inside the vagina, risking pregnancy and exposure to sexually transmitted infections. A woman must twist the ring of the condom still hanging outside her body, similar to the way you might twist a garbage bag, and then gently pull it from her body for disposal.

Add a Comment9 Comments

EmpowHER Guest
Anonymous

http://www.fc2training.com/
Check it out - become your own expert and form an opinion for yourself!

December 1, 2011 - 6:14pm
EmpowHER Guest
Anonymous

Hannah,
As a result of reading this article my partner and I decided to try out the FC2 so that we could give you feedback.

As adventurous folk we were intrigued by the idea of a different kind of protection and planned an evening around this experiment. After my partner managed to insert the FC2 we decided after fits of laughter, that perhaps this option was not the most attractive of choices.

Along with the aesthetic difficulties we had with the FC2, the pleasure factor wasn't overwhelmingly positive for either of us. For me the lack of internal lubrication came as a bit of a surprise, and on my partners part the distinctively plastic smell and feel were not exactly tantric.

Overall the many downsides greatly outweighed the nice and liberating idea. Nothing terrible happened, but as a couple we're not exactly rushing back to Walgreen's to invest in a lifetime supply.

Good luck to all, happy controlling pregnancy, and preventing genital warts

sincerely,
Condom connoisseurs

p.s. Happy MLK day

January 17, 2011 - 12:30pm
HERWriter (reply to Anonymous)

Thank you very much for your comment AND your adventurous experimentation. I am so happy that I could be part of your journey to figuring out the most liberating and couple-appropriate form of birth control!! I wish you the best of luck figuring out a more pleasurable form of contraception - please keep me updated!!

Very best,
Hannah

P.S. I'm glad you were able to celebrate this MLK holiday weekend through liberating sexperiments.

January 17, 2011 - 2:55pm
EmpowHER Guest
Anonymous

I would point out that they are more effective against STD's - for example genital warts. A very common STD, there is no test for this STD in men and warts are easily missed...as female condoms cover more of the vulva they do offer increased protection.

I'd also say that they are less restrictive for men, transfer body heat better, and don't require a man to pull out straight after ejaculation.

December 14, 2010 - 5:24pm
EmpowHER Guest
Anonymous

Way to go to the person who commented above me! I was going to make the same point! Additionally, and just a note on terminology and thinking outside of the heteronormative box, the "female condom" can/should be called the "receptive condom." If the inner ring is removed, the condom can be used for receptive anal intercourse. Considering that all bodies, regardless of gender performance, have anuses, this condom should not be limited to female-bodied individuals. The anus has a similar amount of surface area as the vagina of a mucus membrane (soft, fleshy parts of our bodies, like the soft pallette in the back of the roof of our mouths, that act as super highways for viruses into our blood systems) and therefore using a receptive condom will help protect against the skin-to-skin and fluid-to-skin STI contraction (as mentioned above). Also, for the plastic bag/wind-breaker pants sound, you can always moan louder and/or turn up the music to muffle the sounds :)

December 11, 2010 - 10:18am
HERWriter (reply to Anonymous)

Thank you for this correction!! I definitely don't want to be boxing people into heteronormality. You are absolutely right to point out all the benefits of this form of birth control - when used correctly they have extremely important advantages - they just require a little more practice and experience to use.

Good point about the moaning. I appreciate your input!!

Hannah

December 11, 2010 - 10:44am
EmpowHER Guest
Anonymous

Since the female condom covers the outside of the vaginal lips, that means it provides additional protection against skin to skin viral infections. Proper use will ensure minimal discomfort and no std, hiv or pregnancy scares. check out this site. www.dcdoinit.com

December 7, 2010 - 4:04pm
EmpowHER Guest
Anonymous

Hey, this seems like it was written based on teh old female condom. have you tried the new one? They are MUCH cheaper- actually in my CVS they are the smae price as a pack of male condoms. Also, for insertion, instead of thinking of it as a difficult process, we learnt ways to make the insertion part of foreplay so its actually enjoyable. They are made out of a new material, so definitely not noisy during sex.

After sex I can cuddle for much longer with the female condom than with the male condom that requires my boyfriend to pull out as soon as he ejaculates so that he can remove it.

so I guess I have found the female condom beneficial. It helps that my boyfriend likes it as well because its less restrictive.

I've been using this new female condom model since july with no pregnancy scares, so for me they are as effective as the male condom. I think those stats are based on people not knowing how to use the FC2 properly. All it takes is education to get that number to change from 5/100 to 1/100 or less. Unfortunatley people are more educated about how to use a male condom than a female condom.

December 7, 2010 - 3:35pm
HERWriter (reply to Anonymous)

Thanks very much for your comment!! I appreciate all the information and the corrections. I'm glad that you have found a way to make these condoms sexy for you and your partner, and I agree with you 100% that education is key to bringing the 5% failure rate down to 1%!!

I will do some more investigation on the FC2. This has been a fantastic reminder that what works for one person may not work for another and vice versa.

Very best,
Hannah

December 11, 2010 - 10:39am
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We value and respect our HERWriters' experiences, but everyone is different. Many of our writers are speaking from personal experience, and what's worked for them may not work for you. Their articles are not a substitute for medical advice, although we hope you can gain knowledge from their insight.

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