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The Female Condom

The Reality Female Condom (FDA approved in 1993) consists of a lubricated polyurethane sheath with one closed end and one open end. The closed end is inserted into the vagina. The open end remains outside, partially covering the labia.  Like the male condom, it is available without a prescription and is intended for one-time use. Like a male condom, it may slip, in which case, intercourse should be stopped and an emergency contraceptive may be considered.

While the female condom offers women another contraceptive option that they can control, it has not been popular.  Drawbacks include:

  • Failure rate is higher than the male condom.
  • Complicated and uncomfortable to insert.
  • More expensive than a male condom:  $2 to $2.50 each, versus as low as 25 cents for a male condom.
  • Unattractive and usage often makes "squeaky" noises.

Click here for more information on birth control.

Created: 10/31/2001  -  Donnica Moore, M.D.

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