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Female Condom– Really?

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Reproductive System related image Photo: Getty Images

When I first heard of the female condom I did the infamous eye roll. But while this option will not be for everybody, it’s just right for others. Remember, birth control must fit your lifestyle and even your personality. Let’s consider the pluses and minuses of the female condom. You might - or not - find that it’s for you.

There are only two female condoms that are approved by the Federal Drug Administration (FDA). Therefore, the availability may be limited according to the Mayo Clinic. Further, some find it difficult to insert. This contraceptive device is a soft, loose-fitting pouch with a ring on each end. One ring is closed– this end is to be inserted into the vagina. The other ring is opened– this end remains outside of the vagina. The following are the instructions given by the Mayo Clinic:

Squeeze the ring at the closed end of the pouch with your middle finger and thumb and insert it into your vagina like a tampon. Place your index finger inside the condom and push the ring up as far as it will go. Don't allow the condom to twist. Make sure the outer ring remains outside the vagina, extending about one inch (2.5 centimeters) beyond the labia. You can place the female condom inside your vagina up to eight hours before sex.

Got that? Now a few warnings:

Be sure that the penis doesn’t slip between the vagina and condom
Be sure the outer ring doesn’t get pushed into the vagina during sex
You may use spermicide or additional lubrication for extra protection and to decrease noise during sex
You may want to use backup protection if it’s your first time using the female condom
Never use the female condom at the same time as when using a male condom
You may not be able to use this contraceptive if you are allergic to polyurethane or synthetic latex or have vaginal abnormalities

So with all of this, why do some choose this option? There are benefits. This type of contraceptive offers protection from sexual transmitted infection– some would argue better than the male condom because it covers a portion of the labia. Also, it is available without a prescription and can be inserted way before sex.

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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.