Female Condom

WHAT IS IT?

There is a brand of female condoms called Reality®. It is a soft, loose-fitting plastic condom that lines the vagina. It has a soft ring at each end. The ring at the closed end is used to put the condom inside the vagina and helps to hold it in place. The other ring stays outside the vagina and partly covers the lip area. It is made of polyurethane (non-latex).

HOW DOES IT WORK?

Female condoms help to prevent pregnancy and sexually transmitted infections (STIs) by acting as a barrier to sperm, viruses, and bacteria.

HOW EFFECTIVE IS IT?

If used perfectly, a female condom is 95% effective in preventing pregnancy. If it used improperly, it is 79% effective in preventing pregnancy.

HOW DOES IT WORK?

The female condom is placed in the vagina before intercourse. It lines the vagina completely, preventing direct contact between the penis and the vagina and preventing the exchange of bodily fluids. Sperm is trapped in the condom, which is thrown away after intercourse. Please note that a new condom should be used for each repeated act of intercourse.

For more information about how to use female condoms, please visit SexualityandU > Female Condom

WHAT ARE THE ADVANTAGES AND DISADVANTAGES OF USING A FEMALE CONDOM?

ADVANTAGES:

  • available without a prescription
  • no daily contraceptive routine or continued use required
  • woman remains in charge of placement and use
  • protects against most sexually transmitted infections

DISADVANTAGES:

  • must be available at the time of intercourse
  • requires proper insertion technique
  • flexible inner ring may cause discomfort for some
  • more expensive than the male condom and not available in all stores
  • makes noise during intercourse
  • may slip or break during intercourse
  • may be considered messy by some