What are female condoms
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 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.
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.
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.