Female Condoms

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Female condoms are made out of polyurethane (plastic), with a flexible ring at each end; one side will be open and will lay outside the body to make sure the condom does not disappear completely inside the vagina, while the other will be used to guide the condom into the right position and will be closed up to prevent the sperm from escaping inside the vagina.

Female condoms are soft, fine sheaths that are inserted into the vagina, in a similar way to a tampon, to create a barrier against sperm. Just like male condoms they do not have any side effects to them and also have a dual purpose: stopping conception and protecting against sexually transmitted infections (STI); may also help protect against cancer of the cervix.

A female condoms is design to gently line the vagina and it does not restrict the penis as it is loose fitting so therefore it will move during sex, but for as long as the penis remains inside the condom, it will help with preventing pregnancy.

Unfortunately, female condoms have a 21% failure rate (that makes them only 79% effective when it comes to contraception, although if used correctly they can be up to 95%), so therefore they are considered a less effective method of contraception when compared to a male condom.

Female condoms extend outside the body so they also help protect both partners against some STIs, including human immunodeficiency virus (HIV). Unfortunately, they are also less effective at protecting against STIs than male condoms even though they create a better barrier against genital contact.

Female condoms are suitable for every woman, even if pregnant, have had a hysterectomy, have recently given birth or have had an episiotomies. They are also available at any pharmacy or clinic, without prescription but they are no longer free of charge from family planning clinics.

Spermicides (a chemical that kills sperm) can also be used combined with female condoms for double protection, although it is not required. The spermicidal used is nonoxinol-9, however this spermicidal is becoming less and less used since research has shown that nonoxinol-9 may increase the risk of catching certain STIs.

Just as with a male condom, a female condom should only be used once during intercourse and then must be discarded appropriately. You must never use a female condom after its expire date.

Female condoms can be inserted into the vagina hours before having sex, so they make a smoother transition between foreplay and intercourse.

One important fact about female condoms is that even though all female condoms come pre-lubricated, you can add more lubrication whenever you find that it is required; and because they are made out plastic rather than latex you will also be able to use oil-based lubricants and not just the special preparation ones which are water based, since they wont cause the condom to deteriorate.

Lubricants are very useful whenever women experience vaginal dryness, which can occur for several reasons: tiredness and stress, hormonal changes during the menstrual cycle, pregnancy and the menopause. They also help increase sensitivity during sex.

Lubricants come in different forms so is best to use the ones that feels more comfortable. Pessaries can be inserted discreetly into the vagina, whilst creams and gels can be gently rubbed onto the erected penis before it is gently inserted into the vagina. Some brands can even relieve symptoms of dryness for a few days at a time.

One of the mayor complains that have been reported when it comes to female condoms are, that they seem to interfere greatly when it comes to manual and oral stimulation during sex.
They are also much more costly than male condoms and can be very awkward for first-time users.
Some women have also reported female condoms being a turn-off, since the wet plastic of the condom seems to make noises while moving inside the vagina.

A female condom can take a while getting used to and many women prefer to practise inserting it a few times before using it during foreplay and intercourse.
To make sure that it is used correctly and to get the maximum pleasure and protection out of it, you must make sure to follow the following instructions carefully:

First, make sure that it is well lubricated with either a water-based or oil-based lubricant.

After this, hold the closed end and squeeze its flexible inner ring between your thumb and the middle finger, pinching it into an oval shape.

While still keeping it pinched, insert it into the vagina.

Now, put your index or middle finger (or both) inside the open end of the condom until you can feel the inner ring. Make sure it does not get twisted in the process of insertion.

Push the inner ring as deep into the vagina as it will go. It will then be lying just above the pubic bone. Make sure the outer ring lies close against the outer labia (area outside the vagina).

The outer ring of the condom will remain outside the vaginal opening, with its edges covering part of the vulva.

The sheath must remain in place during intercourse to prevent the sperm entering the cervix.

After sex (and before standing or sitting up), when it is time to remove the condom, twist the open end of the ring to keep the ejaculatory fluid inside so that it never comes into contact with the vagina. Then pull it out and discard of it appropriately.

Enjoy safe sex!

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