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revised Friday October 12 2007

Female Condom

What is it?

The female condom is a thin, soft plastic condom that is placed inside the vagina. It is the only female-controlled method that helps prevent both sexually transmitted infections and pregnancy.

How Effective Is It?

The effectiveness rate of the female condom is similar to the male condom, about 80-95% effective depending on use.

Advantages of the Female Condom

  • latex free, reducing risk of allergy
  • reduces "friction" and irritation of vaginal lining (helpful for women post partum, breast-feeding or at menopause when dryness is a problem)
  • 40% stronger than latex
  • has no smell
  • any lubricant can be used
  • heat conductive so warms up as soon as inserted
  • less disruptive to love-making (can be inserted up to 8 hours before sex)
  • sold in stores - no prescription needed
  • better for men who loose an erection while/after putting on a latex condom
  • reports of increased sensitivity and pleasure for the male
  • soft flexible ring at the open-end covers a larger surface area offering greater protection for each partner
  • some women find the outer ring stimulates the clitoris and increases their pleasure

Disadvantages of the Female Condom

  • the outer ring hangs about 2.5cm outside the vagina., therefore it is difficult to hide the use of the female condom
  • during sex there may be noises caused by the friction. Extra lubrication may minimize this.
  • practice may be necessary to learn how to use the female condom
  • it is possible for the penis to enter the vagina beside the condom.
  • the cost is approximately $3.50 - $5.00 each.

As with latex condoms used by men, the female condom helps protect against pregnancy and sexually transmitted infections (STIs), including HIV.

Read instructions carefully. Each package of female condoms includes detailed instructions for use.

Do not reuse condoms. Throw used condoms in the garbage as condoms may clog the toilet.

Having safer sex means protecting yourself (and your partner) from unintended pregnancies as well as sexually transmitted infections.

For more information, call 905-799-7700 and ask for Sexual Health Information.

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Revised: Friday October 12 2007

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