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How to Use a Female Condom

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Updated June 11, 2014

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The Female Condom
How to Use a Female Condom

Female Condom

Photo © 2009 Dawn Stacey

The female condom is a barrier OTC birth control method that is placed in the vagina before sex. It's a pre-lubricated plastic polyurethane or nitrile (synthetic latex) pouch that is thin, soft and odorless. The female condom collects sperm before, during and after ejaculation. The fc Female Condom (formally the Reality Female Condom) is the only FDA-approved device for women that provides both pregnancy and STD/HIV protection. The outer ring of the female condom covers more of the vulva, so extra coverage may be provided for herpes, HPV warts or any other STD that can be contracted via skin to skin contact.

Using the female condom may be a little bit intimidating if you have never seen or used one before. But, once you become familiar with it, the female condom can be easy to use. Before using, it may be helpful to examine the female condom. The female condom has flexible rings at each end. The ring at the closed end holds the pouch in the vagina where the ring at the open end lies outside the vagina. The movable inner ring (at the closed end) secures the female condom by sliding into place behind the pubic bone. The fixed outer ring has an opening - this is where the penis glides in and out of the vagina during sex. The outer ring also remains on the outside of the vagina during intercourse. It covers the area around the opening of the vagina.

If you choose this method of contraception, it is important that you carefully read the instructions enclosed (in the box) before using the female condom. It may be helpful to practice inserting the female condom a few times before having sex, so you can feel more at ease with its use. Remember, each female condom can only be used ONE time. Also, you should NEVER use the female condom together with a male condom.

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