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FEMALE CONDOM – An Overview

To Know More About FEMALE CONDOM

A female condom is a device that is used during sexual intercourse as a barrier contraceptive to reduce the probability of pregnancy or a sexually transmitted infection/disease (STI/STD). It is a devise used for birth control. These condoms fit into the vagina which prevents the sperm from getting to the egg in the uterus. It is also known as femidom. It was invented by Danish family physician and inventor Lasse Hessel. It is believed that it doesn’t work as effectively as male condoms in protecting against sexually transmitted infections and diseases.

COMPOSITION AND UTILITY
The female condom is made of a thin, strong plastic called polyurethane. It is also made of a newer version substance called Nitrile, which costs less. It has a ring on each end with a length of 17 centimeters. The ring that is placed inside the vagina fits over the cervix and covers it with the rubber material. The other ring is open. It rests outside the vagina and covers the vulva. The outer ring is designed to cover the labia and protect the base of the penis during intercourse. It is intended for one-time use only. As it is made of synthetic nitrile, oil-based lubricants can be used without damaging the consistency of the condom. Nitrile is stronger than latex and does not rapture easily.

CONVENIENCE

  • Female condom does not require any prescription and it is easily available across drugstores, SIT clinics, and family planning clinics. 
  • They are not very expensive, however, they are bit costlier compared to male condoms. 
  • You need to plan to have a male condom beside you while having sex, however, female condoms may be placed 8 hours before intercourse. 
  • The female condom is about 75% to 82% effective with normal use. When used correctly every time, it is 95 % effective. However incorrect usage has resulted in a 21% failure.
     

ADVANTAGES

  • Can be used during menstruation or pregnancy, or after recent childbirth.
  • Allows a woman to protect herself from pregnancy and STIs without any dependency on the male condom.


DISADVANTAGES

  • The friction of condoms may reduce stimulation and lubrication resulting in lesser pleasure during intercourse and even uncomfortable.
  • Allergic reactions and irritation may occur.
  • The condom may make some noise though lubricants may help. However, the newer versions are much silent.
  • There is no direct contact between the penis and vagina.

FEMALE v/s MALE CONDOMS

  • Male condoms are rolled on the penis whereas female condoms are inserted into vagina.
  • Male condoms are water-based only whereas female condoms can be both water-based and oil-based.
  • Male condoms require the erection of penis where as female condoms does not require any such erection.
  • The male condom must be put on erect penis only whereas female condoms can be inserted 8 hours prior to intercourse without depending on the erect penis.
  • Male condoms must be removed immediately after ejaculation. Female condoms need not be removed immediately after ejaculation.
  • Male condoms cover most of the penis part and protect internal genetalia. Female condoms covers internal and part of her external genetalia and base of the penis, ensuring broader protection.
  • Male condoms as made of latex can decay if not stored properly. Female condoms is not vulnerable to any deterioration from humidity or high temperature.
     

CONCLUSION
Acceptability of the female condom involves complex factors such as women's position and decision-making power in a relationship, attitude, and knowledge. Attitude, knowledge, and power relations play an important role in the extent to which women would want to try or use it. Various strategies need to be developed and implemented effectively to promote the use of female condoms, especially amongst young women.

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