Female Condom

The female condom is made of polyurethane and provides protection against pregnancy and STDs, including HIV. This section includes information on correct use of the female condom, as well as effectiveness rates for preventing against pregnancy and STDs.

How to Use a Condom: The Female Condom

Source: The American Social Health Association (ASHA)

Description: This website contains information on female condoms.

Key Statistics:

  • The female condom is a polyurethane (plastic) pouch that fits inside a woman’s vagina. It has a soft ring on each end. The outer ring stays on the outside of the vagina and partly covers the labia (lips). The inner ring fits on the inside of the vagina, somewhat like a diaphragm, to hold the condom in place.
  • Add lubricant to the inside of the condom.
    Remove the condom before standing up.

To View this Resource click here: www.ashastd.org/condom/condom_female_nopics.cfm


Pregnancy Rates for Birth Control Methods

Source: The Food and Drug Administration (FDA), “Consumer-Friendly Birth Control Information,” Consumer Magazine (April 1997).

Description: This table compares the effectiveness of different birth control methods in preventing pregnancy. The methods studied include male and female sterilization, implants (Norplant), hormone shots (Depo-Provera), oral contraceptives, intrauterine devices (IUDs), male and female condoms, vaginal sponges, cervical caps, diaphragms, spermicides, withdrawal, and natural family planning methods (calendar, temperature, cervical mucus).

Key Statistics:

  • With consistent and correct use, female condoms have a 5% failure rate at preventing pregnancy.
  • With “typical use,”—defined as not always using the condom correctly, not using the condom with every act of sexual intercourse, or using the condom and having it fail anyway—female condoms have a 21% failure rate at preventing pregnancy.

To View this Resource click here: www.fda.gov/fdac/features/1997/conceptbl.html


The Female Condom

Source: The Female Health Company, developer and manufacturer of the female condom.

Description: This website provides information on the female condom.

Key Statistics:

  • Available under the brand name Reality®, the female condom provides protection against pregnancy and STDs, including HIV.
  • The female condom and male condom should not be used together as they can adhere to each other, causing slippage or displacement.
  • The first-year effectiveness rate of preventing pregnancy among typical condom users averages about 79% for female condoms. This includes pregnancies resulting from errors in condom use.
  • The female condom is estimated to reduce the risk of HIV infection for each act of intercourse by 97.1% when used consistently and correctly.
  • Laboratory studies have shown the female condom to be an effective barrier to microorganisms including HIV and including a bacteriophage smaller than hepatitis B, the smallest virus known to cause an STD.

To View this Resource click here: www.femalehealth.com/theproduct.html


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