Benefits and how to use them

Health, according to the World Health Organization, is “a state of complete physical, mental and social well-being and not merely the absence of disease and infirmity”.[1] A variety of definitions have been used for different purposes over time. Health can be promoted by encouraging healthful activities, such as regular physical exercise and adequate sleep,[2] and by reducing or avoiding unhealthful activities or situations, such as smoking or excessive stress. Some factors affecting health are due to individual choices, such as whether to engage in a high-risk behavior, while others are due to structural causes, such as whether the society is arranged in a way that makes it easier or harder for people to get necessary healthcare services. Still other factors are beyond both individual and group choices, such as genetic disorders.

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Female condoms are latex pouches with two rings at each end that are inserted into the vagina. When used correctly, internal condoms can prevent infections and unwanted pregnancies effectively.

Gone are the days when you would need to squabble with your partner to use protection for sex when he isn’t too willing to do it. Their reasons for resistance to using protection may vary. Some men find it a hassle to wear a condom mid-act since it puts the flame off for them, while some experience a lack of sensation when using a physical barrier for sex. But ladies, why fret when you can take charge of your sexual experience by trying out a female condom?

Also known as internal condoms, ‘fem doms’ or vaginal condoms can be inserted vaginally or can be used for anal sex.

Female condoms can protect you from sexually transmitted infections and unwanted pregnancies, just like a male condom does. It can be used several hours before sex and can provide you control over your reproductive choices and choose protected sex.

Other pros of using a female condom

  1. You don’t have to wait for your man to get a condom
  2. A female condom can be inserted during the foreplay or 8 hours before indulging in a sexual experience. This, in a way, avoids the last-minute decision to forego protection
  3. Since female condoms are made from nitrile, they are safe to use for people with latex allergies
  4.  These condoms can give you a charge of your own safe sexual experience
  5. It is the safest way for women to indulge in sexual acts without putting themselves at risk 
  6. Women can use a female condom if their partner finds that external condoms restrict sensations.

We’ve got you a primer on female condoms by Divya Sethi, a sexual wellness expert.

“It comes with two flexible rings on each end, one inside and one at the opening. It is also lubricated for better insertion. The ring at the bottom is a spongy soft ring while the bigger ring holds the condom in place,” says Sethi.

How to use a female condom

  1. Make a little roll of the sponge ring at the inner end and insert the condom inside your vagina. 
  2. To ensure it’s sitting perfectly inside, give it a little push with your index finger until you’re comfortable. 
  3. Make sure the other big ring stays outside your vagina. 
  4. Do not try to push the big ring inside.

How to take it off a female condom

  1. All you need to do is slightly pull the ring out, give it a twist and pull out gently. 
  2. Make sure there are no spills.
  3. Ensure that the condom needs to be twisted before pulling it out. 
  4. Dispose it safely. You can place the used condom in a paper bag and dispose. 
Female condom
While a female condom might make sex more pleasurable for your partner, it is not as effective as its male counterpart. Image courtesy: Shutterstock

Health experts have endorsed the use of a female condom for men who have sex with men and indulge in anal sex as they are at a higher risk of HIV. The general lack of availability and unfamiliarity with such protection for women is the biggest reason why masses are still reluctant to try them out. The high cost and low availability of internal condoms should not deter you from using them since they are a female-initiated method of protection.

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