8.3.2  How to use a female condom

Important!Male and female condoms should not be used at the same time, as the resulting friction may lead to slipping or tearing.

Female condoms can be inserted up to 8 hours before intercourse, and are only effective when placed prior to intercourse. At first, female condoms can be uncomfortable to use, but they become easier with practice. Note that a female condom and a male condom should not be used at the same time, because this can cause friction that may lead to slipping or tearing of the condoms.

To insert the condom (Figure 8.3), the woman has to squeeze the ring at the closed end of the tube. She can use her other hand to spread the outer lips, and insert the squeezed condom into the vaginal canal. The inner ring should be pushed just past the pubic bone and over the cervix.

After insertion, she has to make sure the condom is not twisted. About one inch of the open end will stay outside the body. The outer ring of the female condom needs to be held in place during intercourse. After intercourse, she has to squeeze and twist the outer ring to keep all fluids, including sperm, inside the condom, and gently pull it out and throw it away.

Images showing how a female condom is inserted.
Figure 8.3  How to insert a female condom. (Source: Family Planning: A Global Handbook for Providers, WHO, 2007, p.214)

8.3  The female condom

8.3.3  Advantages and disadvantages of female condoms