Female Condoms: Don’t Call it a Comeback

by | Jun 19, 2020 | Sex and PrEP

Use a condom! Use a condom! Use a condom! We’ve all heard that so many times while learning to practice safer sex. Why? Because of all the benefits, like preventing sexually transmitted infections (STI’s) such as chlamydia, gonorrhea, and HIV. Condoms also decrease the risk of unintended pregnancy in women and are suggested for use even when other prevention methods, like birth control pills, are in place. 

The image above is typically what most people think of when talking about condoms. The standard lubricated rubber where you pinch the tip, roll the sheath down the penis shaft, and start the fun. But, it seems, what we never hear in our safer sex discussions is, “Use a female condom!” Why is that? Let’s talk about it!

The female condom is 95% effective in preventing STIs and pregnancy when used correctly. The bonus from my experience as a PrEP Navigator is that we have had more requests for female condoms from gay men, and men who sleep with men because they use them for safer anal sex. Below are the steps to using a female condom:

  1. Tear open the package carefully and remove condom (*do not use your teeth; save that move for the movies!*) 
  2. There is a thick inner ring on the closed end of the condom and a thin outer ring on the open end. If you’re using the condom for vaginal sex, get in a comfortable position, squeeze the ring of the closed end between your thumb and pointer finger, and insert it into your vagina. For anal sex, you can remove the inner ring and insert the condom’s closed end into the anus with your finger, if you find that more comfortable.
  3. Be sure the condom isn’t twisted; the thin outer ring should remain outside the vagina or anus. 
  4. Ready for action! Hold the condom’s outer opening as the penis enters; be sure the penis doesn’t slide between the side of the condom and the vagina or anus. 
  5. To remove, gently twist the outer ring and pull the condom out of the vagina or anus. 
  6. Throw away the condom immediately; do not reuse it. 

Maybe you haven’t heard of female condoms or seen them in the movies, but they’re out there and ready for some safe sex action. 

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One last thing. Female condoms, sometimes called internal condoms, are harder to find than the male version. The only brand approved by the FDA and available in the U.S. is the FC2 Female Condom®. You can find them on the FC2 website, at many Planned Parenthood locations, or on Amazon

Give a female condom a try and get creative in your journey to safer sex practices!

Ask for help connecting to a doctor for PrEP.

Fiona Allan, University Hospitals
Call 216.286.7737
AKeem Rollins, MetroHealth
Call or Text 216.714.2223

Email AKeem at Metro for PrEP

Email Fiona at UH for PrEP