Female Condoms 101

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Female condoms help prevent pregnancy and sexually transmitted diseases (STDs), including HIV. They are a great safer sex option that can be used during vaginal and anal sex. Just like male condoms, female condoms are shaped like a tube, with one closed end and one open end. At each end there is a flexible ring. The ring at the closed end holds the female condom in the vagina. Sometimes people chose to remove this ring for anal sex. It all depends on personal preference and what works for you.

How to Use a Female Condom. Different positions can be used to insert the female condom. Some prefer to lie on their back. Others squat or sit on the edge of a chair.

To insert the female condom:

  1. Squeeze the inner ring between your thumb and middle finger. 
  2. Insert the ring into the vagina or anus, using your index finger to guide it. 
  3. Once the inner ring is part way in, put your finger inside of the condom and gently push it in. If you are inserting the female condom for vaginal sex, insert it until you reach the cervix. If you are inserting the female condom for anal sex, make sure that the inner ring is inserted past the sphincter. For anal sex some people chose to remove the inner ring after the female condom is inserted. It’s a matter of personal preference. 
  4. Once it is inserted, make sure that the female condom is not twisted. The outer ring should lie outside of the body - either over the lips of the vagina or covering the area around the anus. 
  5. After the female condom is inserted, you can add more lubricant inside the condom or to your partner’s penis. 
  6. Make sure to guide your partner’s penis into the female condom when you are both ready. 
  7. To remove the condom, twist the outer ring to keep the semen inside, gently pull it out and throw it away. If you are going to have sex again, use another condom. 

Another method for anal use is to remove the outer ring, put the female condom over the erect penis or a dildo, and then enter the anus. As always, you should use a lot of lubricant and enter the anus slowly. After the condom is inserted you can add more lubricant to the inside of the condom or your partner’s penis.

Where Can I Get Condoms? Clinics (including tribal health clinics and family planning clinics), may give out free samples. Supermarkets and drugstores are also options.

Acknowledgement: This fact sheet was adapted from PlannedParenthood.org, a website that provides education about reproductive and sexual health. 


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