Tips for using female condoms

Meant for male or female, condoms are thin pouches worn during the time of sexual intercourse in order to serve the basic function of preventing pregnancy. Female condoms line the entire vagina and thus help in preventing sexually transmitted diseases as well.The two major types of female condoms available are FC condoms and VA condoms. They carry different brand names in different countries. No spermicides are present in female condoms.

The FC female condoms consist of polyurethane sheath or pouch which is about 17 cm in length. Flexible rings are attached on each ends. The ring at the closed end of the sheath holds the condom in place. The ring at the open end of the sheath stays outside the vulva near to the entrance of the vagina. This ring stops the sheath bunching up inside the vagina during penetration. Though there is a silicone-based lubricant inside the condom, additional lubrication can be used if needed.

The VA w.o.w. Condom Feminine (VA for short) has been made popular as part of HIV prevention efforts. Like most of the male condoms, the VA condoms are also made of latex. In its resting position, it is shorter in length when compared to FC. Though highly elastic, its length when not stretched is around 9 cm. It consists of a rounded triangular frame at its open end and a sponge inside its closed end. VA condoms are lubricated and it is not advisable to use additional lubrication as it might damage latex.

Always ensure that female condoms are not being used during the same time as a male condom. In such a case, the friction between the two condoms might result in breakage. If the female condom slips out during intercourse, or it accidentally enters into the vagina, you need to take out the condom immediately. Sex should be resumed only after inserting a new condom. If necessary, lubricants can be applied to the sheath opening.

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