Never use a female condom the same time you use a male condom.
How effective is it?
95 per cent effective if used according to instructions. Five women in 100 will get pregnant in a year.
How does it work?
Made of a soft thin polyurethane that loosely lines the vagina, covering the area just outside, and stops sperm from entering the vagina.
What are the advantages?
- We give out free condoms if we see you in our clinics or at your place of work. You can also get them free from other sexual health clinics, some GP surgeries or
buy them at supermarkets, pharmacies, or order from Pasante.
- Can be put in up to eight hours before sex.
- Can help protect both partners from some sexually transmitted infections, including HIV.
- Unlike the male condom erection is not necessary to keep the condom in place.
- Oil based products such as massage oils and body lotion can be used with female condoms.
- There are no serious side-effects.
What are the disadvantages?
- Need to make sure that the man’s penis enters the condom and does not go between the vagina and the condom.
- May get pushed into the vagina.
- Not as widely available as male condoms.
How do I use a female condom?
Use a new female condom every time you have sex.
- Check the condom 'use by' date on the packet or box and that it has a European CE symbol on it. This shows that the condom has been properly tested and is safe to use.
- Check that the condom packaging is intact.
- Be careful when opening the condom not to damage it with sharp fingernails or jewellery.
- To insert the condom squeeze the inner ring at the closed end of the condom into your vagina as far as it will go.
- The outer ring stays outside of your vaginal opening. The condom will loosely line the inside of your vagina.
- It is important that you guide the man’s penis into that condom. You must make sure that his penis goes inside the condom. Hold the outer ring while you are guiding the man’s penis into the condom to stop the whole condom being accidentally pushed inside your vagina.
- To remove the condom twist the outer ring to prevent the man’s sperm from leaking out.
- Gently pull the condom out of your vagina and throw away in a bin, do not flush down the toilet.