The female condom: Myths and facts

We tell you what to expect from a female condom, and why it is a valuable addition to your birth control arsenal.

Sex is so great, but the joy of sex can be enhanced much further when you wear a condom. However, most of us are conditioned to think that wearing a condom is the man’s job. It’s not – a woman can wear a female condom and take more control over her body during sex.

What is a female condom?

As the name suggests, a female condom is worn by women during sex. They are not as old as the male condom, but the numbers of women using them is rising all over the world. These condoms are used in birth control and to prevent the spread of STDs. Besides, they give women more control over their sex lives, since they don’t need to depend on a man to provide birth control via a male condom.

The female condom is also a far less intrusive form of birth control than taking a contraceptive pill or having an IUD inserted for a few months or years.

The myths surrounding the use of female condoms

But there are several myths that both men and women have about this type of condom. Let’s work through the most common ones:

* They reduce the pleasure of sex.

No, they don’t. You can buy a really thin but sturdy condom from a leading brand. In fact, leading brands manufacture condoms to increase your pleasure during sex.

* They are difficult to wear.

No, they’re not. The condom is much smaller in length than a male condom, but it can be worn painlessly just inside the vaginal canal. It has a ring that stays flush with the labia while the condom is worn. Another thing you should know about it, is that it can be worn even an hour before sex, unlike the male condom that must be worn during sex on an erect penis only.

* They are not as sturdy as male condoms.

Again, a myth that needs to be dispelled ASAP. The whole point of a condom is that it can withstand the rigours of sex without tearing or bursting. Female condoms can get you through the sexual encounter without any mishaps – just be sure to wear a fresh one if you’ve had sex and are likely to go again. It’s true that female condoms are not as effective as male condoms when it comes to preventing pregnancies, with a 75% success rate. So you could consider using them in conjunction with another form of birth control. However, they are effective in inhibiting the transmission of sexual infections.

* They can cause dryness and chafing.

The best female condoms are pre-lubricated, so the question of chafing does not arise. Besides, you can use water-based lube to ease your concerns about vaginal dryness. The condom, per se, does not cause drying.