Buying Female Condoms

white condom in blue background

Female condoms, or internal condoms, are a great way to protect against pregnancy and sexually transmitted infections. They also add a lot of pleasure for both partners during sex.

They work just as well as male condoms (when used correctly), and are safer for women with latex allergies. But they can be tricky to find in stores, and cost more than traditional condoms.

Size

Choosing the right condom size is key to preventing pregnancy and sexually transmitted diseases. Properly fitting condoms also help make sex more comfortable and pleasurable. Unfortunately, many people struggle to find the right condom size for them and give up or don’t use them at all. This is a problem because not using condoms can lead to unintended pregnancies and STDs.

Fortunately, finding the right condom size can be easier than you think. Condom manufacturers measure the length, width, and girth of their condoms to ensure they fit properly. To get your own condom measurements, take a piece of string or measuring tape and wrap it around the thickest part of your erect penis (usually at the base or middle). To measure the width, divide your girth measurement by 3.14. Then, write down your measurements so you know what size condom to buy.

Female condoms look similar to their male counterparts, but they have a flexible ring at one end that sticks into the woman’s vagina. You can insert them up to 8 hours before sexual intercourse, and they can be used with any lubricant. The ring on the female condom can also create extra clitoral stimulation, which some couples find increases pleasure. However, they don’t protect against pregnancy or STIs as well as male condoms or hormonal birth control methods.

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Material

A female condom is a sterile barrier method of birth control that is inserted into the anus or vagina during penetrative sex. They are usually made of a soft plastic called polyurethane, a type of rubber known as nitrile, or latex. If you have any allergies, be sure to check the packaging of your female condoms for allergy warnings.

They’re shaped like a tube with two flexible rings at each end. The closed end is inserted into the vagina, while the open end remains open (so you can insert a penis or sex toy). You might need to practice before you’re comfortable using one during sexual intercourse.

Unlike male condoms, the female condom can be used repeatedly without risk of pregnancy or STI/HIV transmission if it is properly stored and relubricated between uses. It can also be reinserted up to five times without loss of structural integrity. However, re-use should be followed by a thorough disinfection and drying process.

Many women who use the female condom report that it provides a sense of empowerment and confidence during sexual intercourse. It can feel less intimidating than having to rely on your partner to bring his condom or put it on correctly, and you don’t have to worry about it breaking or slipping off during penetration. Research suggests that when used correctly, female condoms are 95% effective against unintended pregnancy and 79% effective against STI/HIV transmission.

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Lubricant

Some female condoms come pre-lubricated while others require the user to add their own lubricant. The lubricant is determined by the manufacturer and may be either water, glycol, or silicone. Oil-based lubricants should not be used on latex products, as the oils damage the latex material.

When using a female condom, it is important to use enough lubricant to prevent the internal condom from slipping or bunching up. If a woman finds that a condom bunches up during intercourse, she should remove it and insert another one right away. It’s also a good idea to use a lubricant on the penis as well, so that semen does not make contact with the inner condom before it is in place.

The internal condom is inserted by squeezing the ring at the closed end of the condom and placing it into the vagina. The ring of the internal condom should cover the entire area around the vaginal opening. Once the internal condom is in place, a man should guide his penis or sex toy into the ring and then spread a small amount of lubricant over the sheath that covers part of the genital area.

When a condom is inserted correctly, it keeps sperm from entering the womb and protects women against STDs, including HIV. However, some couples find that putting in a condom interrupts foreplay and can be uncomfortable. Also, the female condoms don’t work as well as male condoms and can tear if they are not used properly.

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Availability

Female condoms are flexible pouches that can be inserted inside the vagina or anus to protect against pregnancy and sexually transmitted infections. Also known as internal condoms, they are not as popular as external (male) condoms. However, they can be more comfortable for women and may make sex more pleasurable for both partners.

While they are effective at preventing pregnancy, they don’t always work perfectly. It is possible for sperm to slip into the vagina even when a female condom is in place. In addition, they can break or tear if not handled carefully or stored properly. Some couples find that inserting a condom interrupts sex, so they may choose to do it in advance or try to incorporate it into foreplay.

A woman should use a new female condom with every act of penetration, and she should remove it immediately afterward. She should not touch the inner ring of the condom with her fingers afterward, as this can cause herpes or other sexually transmitted diseases.

The FDA has approved two types of female condoms, called FC1 and FC2. Both are made from polyurethane, but the FC2 model has a synthetic rubber called nitrile that is less likely to make distracting crinkling noises during usage. The company that makes FC2 has pledged to increase access to the product in poorer countries by offering discounted pricing and free goods for bulk purchases. Women can also buy them in drugstores without a prescription and at health clinics that carry birth control products.

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