New FC2 Female Condom Available in the U.S.

female condomA form of contraception talked less about is the female condom.  A new version of the female condom has just been approved by the FDA for use in the U.S. A female condom is a flexible plastic tube worn inside the vagina. A soft ring at the closed end of the tube covers the cervix during intercourse and holds it inside the vagina. Another ring at the open end of the tube stays outside the vagina and partly covers the lip area. It is the only kind of contraception that helps protect partners from pregnancy and sexually transmitted infections, including HIV/AIDS. Female condoms are 79-95% effective.

Female condoms can be put in up to eight hours before intercourse.  They say it can be awkward to insert at first, but gets easier with practice. Adding spermicide before or after insertion can also further reduce the risk of pregnancy. A female condom and a male condom should not be used at the same time.

According to Feminist Women’s Health Center the pros of using the female condom include: Protects the vagina and vulva; Does not reduce a male partner's stimulation; Available without a prescription; No hormonal side effects; Can be used by people with latex sensitivities; they are prelubricated and can be used with oil and water-based lubricants; Can be inserted hours before intercourse, or during “sex play”; Erection is not necessary to keep condom in place; and does not affect future fertility. Unlike a male condom, the Guttmacher Institute has also indicated it can be re-used several times.

Downsides include the fact that like a male condom it can break or leak, and it is about three times more expensive than male condom.

It may not be the most popular birth control method, but definitely worth knowing about as part of women deciding which method(s) is best for them.

Laura Carroll

Childfree author of Families of Two

blogging at La Vie Childfree http://lauracarroll.com

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