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We discuss the effectiveness of female condoms, and whether they are absolutely safe in preventing pregnancy and transmission of sexual diseases.
A female condom is, as the term suggests, a condom used by women. Like the male condom, it is used to prevent an unwanted pregnancy, or the spread of STIs or STDs during sex. It is meant to prevent the direct contact of the human penis with the vagina or cervix.
Structurally, this condom differs from the male condom, in that it often has two rings instead of one. There is a smaller ring at the closed end of the condom, which is a flexible kind of ring. The larger ring is located at the open end of the condom, and it rests outside the vagina.
During sex, the smaller ring keeps the end of the condom closed so that it does not break or tear, and inadvertently leak semen into the vaginal canal or cervix.
Are there any risks with using the female condom?
This category of condom is gaining recognition only now, though its use is still quite low among most sexually active women. A lot of couples continue to use male condoms for protection.
However, women who want to take greater control of their sexual destiny must certainly invest in female condoms, especially if the male half of the relationship does not like to use condoms during sex. It can also be useful when you have sex with a new partner, and when you are unsure about their sexual health.
What should I do for contraception?
If you are not 100% sure about using a female condom, then you should look at other methods of birth control. These include hormonal injections (to be taken every 12 weeks), birth control pills (spanning 28 days every month), a hormonal patch or ring (attached on the inner arm by a doctor) or IUDs like the copper T.