Female condom Faqs
1. Is FC
difficult to use?
FC is not difficult to use, but it may take some practice to get used to it. Women should
practice putting it in and removing it prior to using it for the first time during sexual
intercourse. Research has indicated that Female condoms may need to be tried up to three times before users become confident and
comfortable using it. New users should try to insert the device several
times, and each time with the body in a different position (e.g. lying down, crouching,
sitting) to find the most comfortable one. While individual counselling and personal
fitting may help to reassure women, group sessions and peer groups may overcome early
abandonment as women can share anxieties, ideas and laughter with each other.
2. What happens if the
penis doesn't enter correctly?
It is important that the penis is guided into the centre of FC and not between the vaginal
wall and the outer side of Female Condom. Diagrams and/or anatomical models should be used
to illustrate this problem at introduction. If the penis does enter incorrectly, the man
should withdraw his penis and the couple should start over.
3. What kind of lubricant
should be used with FC?
FC comes pre-lubricated with a silicone-based, non-spermicidal lubricant. This lubrication
helps assist in the insertion of the device and allows easy movement during intercourse.
The lubricant may make Female Condoms a little slippery at first. If the outer ring of FC
gets pushed in or pulled out of the vagina, more lubricant may be needed. Also, if FC
makes noise during sex, simply add more lubricant. FC can be used with both water-based
and oil-based lubricants, whereas male latex condoms should only be used with water-based
lubricants. Women, if you suffer from vaginal dryness additional lubricant may be required.
4. Can FC be used more than
The Female Condom is approved for a single use only, but re-use has been reported in
several countries. WHO, UNAIDS and USAID among others have conducted studies to
investigate the safety of disinfection, washing, drying, storage and re-lubrication,
followed by re-use, and WHO has convened two technical consultations to review data from
WHO recommends use of a new
male or female condom for every act of intercourse, where there is a risk of unintended
pregnancy and/or STI/HIV infection. Recognizing the urgent need for risk-reduction
strategies for women who cannot or do not access new condoms, WHO has developed a draft
protocol for the safe handling and preparation of used Female
condoms intended for re-use. WHO does not
recommend or promote re-use, but will make available the protocol, together with
guidelines on programmatic issues, to programme managers who intend to evaluate its
feasibility and application in local settings. WHOs Information Update on re-use is
available on-line at
5. Is the inner ring
uncomfortable for me or my partner?
Some women do report that the inner ring is uncomfortable. If it is, you can try to place
FC differently (i.e. reinsert or re-position the device) so that the inner ring is tucked
back behind the cervix and out of way. However, some people report that both the inner and
outer rings add to both a mans and a womans sexual pleasure.
6. Is FC big?
There may be an initial negative reaction to FC, because of its size, but this feeling
diminishes with use. It is useful to compare FC to an unrolled male condom to highlight
that FC is the same length but wider than the male condom. It is also important to note
that FC provides added protection because the base of the penis and the external female
genitalia are partly covered during use. To reduce potential negative reactions, some
programmes have suggested introducing FC rolled up to minimise its size; inserting FC
before the initiation of sexual activity; and stressing the advantages of the wider
diameter, as many men complain about the constricting nature of male condoms.
7. How do I dispose of FC?
The proper removal and disposal of Female condoms should be included with the packaging of FC as well in introductory
FC does not need to be removed immediately after a
mans ejaculation, like the male condom. But it should be taken out before the woman
stands up to avoid the semen spilling out.
||The outer ring should be twisted to seal the condom so that no semen comes out.
||FC can be pulled out and wrapped in the package it came in and/or in tissue.
||FC should be disposed of in waste containers and not in the toilet.
||Also, since in many countries women dispose of sanitary napkins in a clean and
private way, the same procedures can be promoted for the disposal of FC.
8. Can I use Female condoms in different sexual positions?
FC can be used in any sexual position; however, additional lubricant may be needed. Some
women may feel more comfortable learning to use FC in the missionary position, and then
adding other positions after that. Group counselling sessions are often ideal for women to
learn from each other how to use the device while having sex in different positions.
FC is not specifically
approved or recommended for anal sex, but there are reports from all over the world that
it is used for anal sex. Several studies have been done and published and others are
on-going. The polyurethane of an FC is stronger than latex and can be used with any kind
Can we use a Female
condom and a male condom at the same time?
You should not use both condoms at the same time. Using the condoms simultaneously may
cause friction resulting in either or both condoms slipping or tearing, and/or the outer
ring of FC being pushed inside the vagina.
How long will FC last?
The United States Food and Drug Administration has approved FC for a shelf life of 5 years
from the date of manufacture. Because of the properties of polyurethane, FC is not
affected by differences in temperature and humidity, so no special storage conditions are
11. Who can use FC?
People who want to protect themselves and their partners from unintended
pregnancy and STIs, including HIV/AIDS, and show their partners that they care.
||People whose partners cannot or will not use the male latex condom.
||Women who are menstruating.
||Women who have recently given birth.
||Women who have had a hysterectomy.
||Women who are peri- and post-menopausal.
||People who are allergic or sensitive to latex.
||People who are HIV+ or have HIV+ partners.
Statistics faqs and pictures
provided by the Female health company