For the uninitiated, a female condom is among the various available contraceptive barrier methods available. However it is also the under-utilized one. The female condom — also called an internal condom — is a birth control (contraceptive) device that acts as a barrier to keep sperm from entering the uterus. It is a highly effective contraceptive method that can be inserted vaginally to reduce the risk of both pregnancy and sexually transmitted infections (STIs).
One of the most commonly reported worries about pregnancy and STI concerns often prevent people from fully enjoying sexual pleasure. Also most men and women have seen the female condom before, or heard of it.
Female condoms are not as popular as male condoms, which could be due to the lack of availability, higher price, and/or preference. Female condoms are not generally available in grocery stores, drug stores, or in vending machines. Their sale is usually limited to specialty stores, some pharmacies and reproductive health centers, or online retailers.
How do u insert a female condom?
A female condom is inserted in the vagina. Find yourself, a comfortable position. While holding outside of condom at closed end, squeeze sides of inner ring together with your thumb and forefinger Insert the ring as high as possible into your vaginal canal. It’s similar to inserting a menstrual cup or tampon. Use your finger to ensure that the condom is deep inside of your vagina. Using your finger, push inner ring as far up till it rests against cervix. The rim of the condom opening should rest just outside of the vaginal opening.This can be inserted for upto 8 hours before having sex.
A study was done to explore the views of Indian women and men who participated in a brief intervention using the female condom on their experiences in relation to sexual pleasure, sexual satisfaction, and their overall acceptability.
Here are a few pros and cons listed below from the study’s findings about use of female condoms based on the feedback of trial group.
Women feel empowered, as they do not need to wait for male partners to provide protection or to negotiate wearing a condom
Its ability to reduce the risk of a range of STIs due to the coverage offered both inside and outside of the vagina and on parts of the vulva
The ability to discard the barrier method and prevent contact with male ejaculate, for hygienic reasons and ease of clean up helped them enjoy sex with their partners especially for sex workers.
Female condom can increase pleasure through alleviating stress related to the risks of pregnancy or STI transmission.
Some men enjoy how the female condom prolonged sex due to the use of a barrier method, which increases their pleasure.
Female condoms they can be used with all types of lubricants. Test for latex allergy, however.
The limited literature focused on the acceptability of female condoms in India has not addressed sexual pleasure. Discussions of sexual pleasure in relation to the female condom are less common.
When female condoms are introduced in traditionally patriarchal cultures, price is generally reported as a concern, as well as the lack of trust if women are the ones to introduce it to their partner.
Insertion of the female condom can be a challenging part of the experience for most participants.
The barrier and thickness of the material may reduce sensation (which for some may be a drawback, for others it’s beneficial by prolonging sex) but the design enhances sensation by allowing for more movement of the female condom on the penis compared to the male condom.
Some users reported that their partner could feel the inner ring and this caused friction, which caused pain or discomfort for some
Due to the firmer material of the ring, male partners can feel occasional discomfort in rubbing against it during penetration.
Since partners cannot always be trusted to use a male condom (e.g. because of intoxication, wanting full sensation, and not having a male condom available), women’s control over the wearing of the female condom reduces their stress and allows them to enjoy the experience. This can be the greatest factor for using a female condom as a contraceptive choice. With some practice, insertion can be perfected.
In India, female condoms an be bought online through Amazon or Flipkart.
Have you ever tried a female condom? Tell us your experience here.