ake a stroll through any drugstore and you’ll see shelves stacked with male condoms of many types, but look for a female condom and you won’t be able to find one for sale. Even though they were introduced more than two decades ago, femidoms remain pretty unfamiliar to most people.
Some of us haven’t heard of internal condoms at all, others have no idea how they look like, and third ones know as much about as a hog knows about Sunday. You heard it here first, folks: female condoms have many the same advantages as male rubber. It’s not the prettiest thing in the word, but dual protection from STI’s and pregnancy is worth a second glance.
So, if you’ve wondered what internal condoms are, had questions about their effectiveness, side effects, or where to buy, here’s our guide on the only female-concentrated contraceptive method.
How does a femidom look like?
Now, when we already know there’s a thing called the female condom, we want to explain shortly how to recognize it and what are the main differences from a Johnny in appearance. A femidom is like a cross between a small plastic bag and a male condom — it’s a loose-fitting moisturized pouch with a flexible ring on each end. One ring at the open end of the condom remains outside the vagina for removal, while the other one is inserted into women’s love box to keep the condom in place.
Internal condoms come in one size designed to fit most women.
There are many different designs of female condoms that exist, but basically, they are slightly larger than male protection and don’t fit snuggly around the penis, giving the man’s gear more breathing room. Some men, for example, find them more comfortable since they aren’t requiring a full erection. What’s more, internal condoms come in one size designed to fit most women.
Advantages at a glance
Give control for women
Female condoms are just as effective and safe as the male condoms and can be an ideal option for women who find trouble convincing their partner to use protection. It can be inserted hours prior to sex and give women flexibility and control over their sexual and reproductive health without having to rely on their partner.
Do not contain latex
Having a latex allergy does not always mean you have to sacrifice enjoyment and safer sex life. A femidom is often made of polyurethane or nitrile which is totally safe to use for people who are allergic to latex or just don’t like the smell of it. Plus, nitrile is a thinner but generally stronger material which transfers heat better, giving more of a feeling of not having a condom.
Some men usually complain that male condoms decrease sensation or are uncomfortable to wear, though, they come in all types of varieties. Alternatively, some people who use female condoms, including men, have felt an increase in pleasure, and therefore prefer it to the male rubber. During vaginal sex, the female condom’s external ring stimulates the clitoris while the internal ring stimulates the head of the penis — best of the both worlds.
Provide dual protection
Femidoms offer an affordable, convenient, and effective way to lower your risk of unintentional pregnancy. When used correctly, female condoms cover a wider surface area than the ones for men. In this way, they provide extra protection for both partners against the spread of sexually transmitted infections, including HIV — no matter where your sexual adventures take you.
Rather than getting annoyed about having to use a condom, focus on the sex part. Keep the sparkle shine by continuing to stimulate each other, while you and your partner insert the internal condom, making this as a part if the foreplay. If you don’t like this idea, you can also insert it before things heat up so you don’t have to kill the mood of the prelude.
Have no side effects
Millions of women around the world want to prevent pregnancy but aren’t using contraception. You may ask why? Fear of side effect is one of the main concerns – which can be addressed by femidoms since they don’t contain hormones and can be used whenever you need them. They are safer than many other forms of birth control and you don’t need a prescription for them.
Used for anal sex
In addition to vaginal intercourse, you can use female condoms during anal play as a great physical barrier method for STIs prevention. Some enthusiasts recommend removing the inner ring before insertion. If you’re using a femidom made from non-latex material, you can safely use both silicone and water-based lubricants. Note, however, that femidoms haven’t yet received official approval for use in anal intercourse.
Female condom effectiveness
It’s important to follow the instruction when using any type of condom. For a female condom to be effective in preventing pregnancy, it must be used properly and consistently. They’re about 95% effective, meaning that if 100 women use them correctly all the time, only 5 of them can become pregnant in a year. Female condoms don’t eliminate your risk of getting pregnant, but they do greatly cut your chances.
How to use a female condom?
Before using a female or any other condom, always read the instructions carefully. If the condom is past its expiration date or you notice any signs of damage, don’t use it. The way you insert a female condom is similar to how you put in a tampon. It may seem a little tricky at first, but all you need is a little practice. Here’s how you do it:
- Take the condom out of the package carefully by tearing along one edge. Don’t open the pack with your teeth.
- You can apply additional lubricant to the condom to improve the comfort and make it easier to insert.
- Find a comfortable position — standing with one foot on a chair or lying so that you can insert the condom.
- Gently squeeze the inner ring at the closed end with your middle finger and insert it into your vagina.
- Make sure the outer ring at the open end of the condom covers the area around the opening of the vagina.
- During intercourse, guide the penis into the condom, not between the condom and the side of the vagina.
- After sex, twist the outer ring of the condom to close it off, holding in the semen. Pull the condom from the body.
- Attention: Female condoms are one-time use only. Open a new one each time you have sex.
Standing up, lying down, sitting… And we’re not talking about sex positions. These are just some of the ways how to insert a female condom. Of course, the femidom may take time to get used to, but when used correctly, it can be undetectable.
Where to buy?
Female condoms aren’t available at every drugstore, supermarket, or adult shop. But you can always purchase them online from WorldCondoms. There are different types of female condoms, common brands include Ormelle, Pasante, FC2, VA, and more.
All in all, it’s clear that femidoms’ unpopularity seems to arise from unfamiliarity more than concern — they’re just a little too weird to use in romantic situations. However, it’s a bit surprising, since they have a wide array of benefits and the same attributes as male condoms. Women can choose whether or not to wear a condom, they don’t affect latex allergy sufferers, and, finally, you can insert them several hours before sex. The internal condom may not be for everyone, but surely worth a try.
You’re the expert in picking what’s right for you, and we want to make sure you know all of your option, not just those that are widely talked about. Ready to take a plunge?