• Grecia Quintero

Condoms are also Feminine

The female condom, also know as the internal condom, is a contraceptive in the form of a soft pouch that is inserted into the vagina to protect against pregnancy and STI's. Even though it's called a female condom, anyone can use it both for vaginal or anal sex.


Image by the Reproductive Health Supplies Coalition (Unspalsh)

Female condoms are bigger than male ones, but it's because they're supposed to fit more loosely. They are a mystery to some, so here is how you actually use them:

How to put it on:

  1. Make sure to read the instructions or any additional information that your female condom package might provide.

  2. Check out the expiration date of the condom; please don't use it if it has expired.

  3. Take out the female condom and unroll it, look for the inner ring.

  4. Get into a comfortable position for placement.

  5. Squeeze together the sides of the inner ring and insert it as high as possible into your vaginal canal. Make sure the condom isn't twisted.

  6. After you successfully placed your female condom, make sure the outer ring rests outside the vaginal opening and covers your labia.

Note: If you're going to use this type of condom for anal sex, remove the inner ring before putting on the condom.




How to remove it:

  1. When you finish having sex, twist the outer ring of the condom to keep any semen inside it.

  2. Gently pull it out of the vagina making sure the semen doesn't get spilled.

  3. To dispose of it, throw it in the trash. Never flush female condoms because they could clog your toilet.


Pros:

  • It rarely causes allergic reactions: female condoms are made of polyurethane and synthetic latex, so it's safe to use.

  • It can be inserted up to 8 hours before sex: Unlike male condoms, you don't need an erect penis to put it on. You can get prepared in advance.

  • You feel control: Some women get the sense of being empowered over their bodies because they feel like they have power when using the female condom.

  • Provides greater protection: If placed right, the outer ring of the female condom helps protect your labia.


Cons:

  • Female condoms require practice to insert correctly: It is crucial to learn how to place it; the outer ring should always maintain outside the vagina, and the penis shouldn't slip between the vagina and the female condom.



Do's and Dont's:

  • Don't use a female and male condom together: the friction between the two can tear the material apart, and you could be at risk of pregnancy or an STI.

  • Don't reuse a female condom: There is a big debate on whether or not female condoms can be reused. The best practice would be not to reuse it, since they can get occasional holes, making them less effective and dangerous. Plus, if they're not washed properly, you could contract an infection

  • Do consider using additional lubrication: If you feel the need to, you can always use a water-based lubricant to make things smoother. The most important part is to stay aware that your female condom is placed right.

  • Do use the female condom from start to finish.


Since the female condom is a pouch way bigger than the male condom and it's supposed to fit loosely (contrary to the male condom that should fit a little tighter), many women seem shameful when using it because it looks scary or oldfashioned. We're here to tell you that protection is sexy! and just as with many products (like tampons, the cup, etc.) it's just a matter of learning how to use it to feel comfortable and secure about it.




To wrap it up, we recommend watching this great video from Planned Parenthood about internal condoms:



Resources:

https://www.plannedparenthood.org/learn/birth-control/internal-condom/how-do-i-use-an-internal-condom

https://www.cdc.gov/condomeffectiveness/Female-condom-use.html

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