Contraception – Female Condom

BASIC INFORMATION
DESCRIPTION

  • The goal of contraception (or birth control) is to prevent an unplanned pregnancy. The majority of methods of contraception enable sexually active couples to temporarily avoid pregnancy. Permanent birth control is accomplished through sterilization. Be sure you know and understand the different types of birth control available to you, the risks and benefits of each, and any side effects, so that you can make an informed choice.
  • The female condom (or vaginal pouch) is a disposable nonprescription birth control device. The recommended type is a sheath made of thin polyurethane material with 2 flexible rings, one at each end. One ring fits into the depth of the vagina and the other sits outside the vagina after the insertion. When it is in place, the pouch covers the vaginal wall and creates a covered passageway for the penis. The female condom is intended for a one-time use only.

ADVANTAGES

  • Is generally effective for birth control (74-79%). Proper and consistent usage increases the effectiveness.
  • Easily transported.
  • May be used only when needed.
  • One size fits all women.
  • Can be inserted long before intercourse (whereas a male condom needs to be used right at the time of intercourse).
  • Does not require a visit to a doctor’s office for fitting.
  • Allows female to be in control of birth control method.
  • Does not involve the hormones, used in some other forms of birth control, that can have side effects.
  • It comes prelubricated and does not require precise placement over the cervix.
  • The polyurethane is stronger than latex used in male condoms and is less likely to tear.
  • Offers some protection against sexually transmitted diseases (STDs).

DISADVANTAGES

  • Not 100% effective for birth control or prevention of sexually transmitted disease (STD).
  • Inserting the condom is a little cumbersome.
  • More costly than male condoms.

GENERAL MEASURES
INSTRUCTIONS FOR USE:

  • Don’t use after the expiration date.
  • Don’t use a male condom at the same time as a female condom; the female condom may not stay in place or be as effective.

To insert:

  • Squeeze the inner ring and insert the pouch into the vagina just past the public bone using the index finger (it is inserted similarly to a tampon).
  • The inner ring should cover the cervix. The outer ring plus about 1 inch of the condom stays outside the vagina.
  • Using your finger, check to be sure the sheath is not twisted and that it will be easy for the penis enter into the vagina.
  • A lubricant may be added if desired.
  • Do not leave it in place beyond the initial time period if you are menstruating.
    To remove:
  • Squeeze and twist the outer ring to keep sperm inside the condom.
  • Pull gently to remove.
  • Wrap condom in tissue and throw in waste basket; it should not be flushed down the toilet.
  • Use a new female condom for each act of intercourse.

Note: Follow the special written instructions that come with the product if they differ from those discussed in this instruction sheet.