The female condom is a 7-inch polyurethane pouch that is inserted into the vagina. It is a barrier method of birth control. It can also protect women against several sexually transmitted diseases (STDs).
There is a flexible ring at the closed end of the thin, soft pouch. A slightly larger ring is at the open end. The ring at the closed end holds the condom in place in the vagina. The ring at the open end rests outside the vagina against the labia (the skin folds on either side of the opening of the vagina). When the condom is in place during sexual intercourse, there is no contact of the vagina and cervix with the skin of the penis or with secretions from the penis.
The female condom can be inserted up to 8 hours before sex. Follow these instructions for inserting it:
When the condom is properly inserted, the outer ring will hang down slightly outside the vagina.
During sex, it may be helpful to use your hand to guide the penis into the vagina inside the female condom. The condom is lubricated. However, if the condom seems to be sticking to and moving with the penis rather than resting in the vagina, stop and add more lubricant. You can add lubricant to the inside of the condom (near the outer ring) or put it directly on the penis. If you need to use more lubricant, use water-based gels. Avoid using petroleum-based lubricants such as Vaseline. It may damage the material of a condom, making it break and fail to protect you.
To remove the female condom after intercourse:
Do not reuse female condoms. Use a new one every time you have intercourse. Also, do not use male and female condoms at the same time. Be careful not to tear the condom with fingernails or sharp objects.