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Female Condom Use


What is a female condom?

A female condom is a soft plastic pouch that goes into your vagina to help prevent pregnancy and sexually transmitted infections (STIs).

Barrier Method: The cervical cap fits snugly over the cervix, preventing sperm from entering the uterus

What do I need to know about female condoms?

  • Store condoms in a cool, dry place: Heat may damage the condom. Check the expiration date. Do not use if the condom is past the expiration date.
  • Use a new condom every time you have sex: It is not washable or reusable.
  • Use it with a second form of protection: The best way to protect you and your partner is to use a condom with a sponge, cervical cap, or spermicide. Ask your caregiver for information about other methods of contraception. Do not use a female condom when your partner uses a male condom. The two condoms may stick together and slip out of place.

How do I use a female condom?

  • Find a comfortable position to insert the condom: You may sit, squat, or stand with one leg up on a chair.
  • Use water-based lubricant: Put 1 or 2 drops of water-based lubricant or spermicide on the outside of the closed end.
  • Insert the female condom: Hold the closed end of the condom and squeeze the inner ring between your thumb and your finger. Use your other hand to separate your labia (folds of skin around the vagina). Put the squeezed ring into your vagina and push it up as far as it can go. Place your index or middle finger, or both, inside the open end until the inner ring is felt. Push the inner ring as far back into your vagina as it can go.
  • Check the outer ring: Make sure the outer ring is close against the outside area of your vaginal opening. You may need to hold the outer ring as your partner inserts his penis. This helps prevent the entire condom from being pushed into your vagina.

How do I remove a used condom?

  • Twist the outer ring: This helps keep the semen inside the condom.
  • Gently pull the condom out: Do this before you stand up.
  • Throw the condom in the trash: Wrap up the used condom in a paper towel or tissue and put it into the trash. Do not flush it down the toilet.

What are the risks of using a female condom?

You may have discomfort from the outer ring. You may have an allergy to the condom. The condom may slip out or break. This can increase your risk of pregnancy or an STI.

When should I contact my caregiver?

Contact your caregiver if:

  • You have sudden itching or the skin around your vagina becomes red or swollen.
  • You have nausea, vomiting, or stomach cramps.
  • A condom breaks or leaks during sex.
  • You think you may be pregnant.
  • You have questions or concerns about your condition or care.

Care Agreement

You have the right to help plan your care. Learn about your health condition and how it may be treated. Discuss treatment options with your caregivers to decide what care you want to receive. You always have the right to refuse treatment. The above information is an educational aid only. It is not intended as medical advice for individual conditions or treatments. Talk to your doctor, nurse or pharmacist before following any medical regimen to see if it is safe and effective for you.

© 2015 Truven Health Analytics Inc. Information is for End User's use only and may not be sold, redistributed or otherwise used for commercial purposes. All illustrations and images included in CareNotes® are the copyrighted property of A.D.A.M., Inc. or Truven Health Analytics.