Female condoms
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Top facts: female condoms

Why should boys have all the fun or all the control! A new kind of birth control option is now available to women. Love Matters brings you the top facts on female condoms.

What are female condoms

Female condoms are a barrier method of contraception and preventing STIs and STDs. The material and basic function of a female condom are the same as that of the more popular condoms for men.

A female condom is worn by a woman inside her vagina for sex involving intercourse. This condom, with its ring-like formation on either end, is to catch in the penis and its ejaculate during sexual intercourse.

The female condom resembles a bag in that aspect (see pic above and below). Its closed end rests near the cervix and lines itself against the vaginal walls so that no semen passes through to cause an unintended pregnancy.

 

how female condom looks like
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How popular are female condoms?

Female condoms, in relation to male condoms, are not too popular yet. This could be for a variety of reasons – they are over 40 per cent costlier than male condoms and are required to be inserted inside the woman’s vagina.

There’s a stigma against women who go to buy contraceptives themselves. Also, they are not as widely available at neighbourhood pharmacies. Men still dominate decisions around sex and contraceptive usage.

See below a comparison picture of a male and a female condom. On the left side is a male condom, which is smaller in size. Right side shows a female condom. 

 

Male and female condom
Shutterstock/Image Point Fr

 

Reliable or not?

Female condoms can be fairly reliable but not a fool-proof method of contraception. Their success rate is lower than that of male condoms.

While they offer protection against the risk of STIs and STDs, to prevent pregnancy, they must be used in combination with other contraception methods like oral contraception, copper T, etc.

What’s important

An important thing to remember is that when a female condom is being used by a heterosexual couple, the male partner must not use a condom. Only one partner should be wearing a condom, else the friction will cause either or both condoms to tear off and expose the partners o risk of unintended pregnancy, STIs and STDs.

In 2016, the Indian government entered a collaboration with an India-based company to manufacture and popularise female condoms. However, they still remain quite expensive and unaffordable for large portions of the population.

Do you have questions on birth control options? Ask Love Matters on our Facebook page or consult our LM experts on our discussion forum.

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