Female condom

What the packet says

What is it?

What’s it made of?

Female condoms are soft thin plastic pouches that are made of a thin, strong plastic called polyurethane, or a substance called nitrile.

How it works

Female condoms are worn inside the vagina, and they prevent pregnancy by stopping sperm getting to the womb.

How does this compare?

Frequency

  • During intercourse
  • Daily
  • Monthly
  • 1 - 3 Months
  • 1 - 3 Years
  • 3 - 5 Years
  • Permanent

Similar to

Clinical effectiveness

95% if used perfectly

What does this mean?

Contains hormones

  • Yes
  • No
What does this mean?

Detailed information

How to get started

  • The trusty condom is the only type of contraception that stops pregnancy and protects against STI’s, and you only need to use them when you have sex – so no need for advanced preparation or doctors appointments.
  • You may find female condoms slightly harder to get hold of than male condoms. You can either buy them online or from shops and pharmacies, or in the UK you can get free condoms from contraception clinics, sexual health clinics and some GP surgeries.
  • It may sound obvious, but you need to use a different female condom every time you have sex.
  • To use a female condom, open the condom out of the packet, making sure you don’t tear it with your nails or jewelry.
  • Squeeze the smaller ring at the closed end of the condom and put it inside your vagina. Use your fingers to push the inner ring as far back into your vagina as you can, and then, with your fingers inside the condom, open the large ring at the open end of the condom. It should be outside of the opening of the vagina.
  • When having sex, make sure the penis goes inside the condom not outside. Guide it in whilst holding the outer ring in place. It’s loose fitting and is meant to move whilst you have sex.
  • After sex, remove the female condom immediately by gently pulling it out – twisting the large ring stops semen from leaking as you do this.
  • Don’t throw female condoms away in the toilet. Think of Blue Planet and put it in the bin.

How to stop

  • Stopping using female condoms is easy, you just don’t put one inside the vagina when you have sex.
  • In general condoms have little to no after effects, but check out our survey results to see what others have experienced.

Things that can go wrong

  • The most common thing that can go wrong with a female condom is that the penis enters the vagina outside the condom by mistake, or the condom slips out or gets pushed into the vagina during sex. If this happens, you may need to use emergency contraception.  
  • Quite a lot of things can stop female condoms from being effective – these include:
    • If a penis touches the vaginal area before the condom is inserted. Make sure you don’t get ahead of yourself– sperm can come out of the penis before a man has ejaculated.
    • Condoms being past their use by date – don’t use them if they’re out of date.
    • Condoms stored in intense heat or cold.

 

 

 

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