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What are Female Condoms? - 03/30/2012

Not all condom users know that other than those used by the males, there’s also the female condom meant to be used by women. This is a thin sheath or in pouch form worn by a woman when she engages in sex with a man. The protective tool is used by lining the vagina to prevent the transfer of sexually transmitted diseases and unwanted pregnancy.

There are two major types of female condoms – the FC or FC1 and FC2. This is manufactured by the Female Health Company (FHC) and is the only product of its kind approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.

FC1 was the first female condom created by FHC. However, since 2009 when the company started to produce its second generation product called FC2, production of the original one stopped.

The FC2 provides double protection against sexually transmitted diseases and unwanted pregnancy. It is distributed worldwide through the help of public health organizations and donor groups in some 100 countries.

Contrary to what some people believe, the FC is not difficult to use. It may require initial patience and practice such as in the proper way of inserting it into the vagina but with consistent use, it will be easy to put on before doing it with your partner. Experts recommend women practice inserting and removing it before they using it during intercourse. And although the FC already comes with a silicone-based non-spermicidal lubricant, additional lube may be needed to make it easy to use the protective tool.

This protective tool for the females can be used in various sexual positions. Couples, however, may need to use additional lubricant to ensure a smooth intercourse. It should be noted as well that the female condom should not be used together with the male condom. It can lead to friction which can result in the rubber slipping or breaking while you’re having a good time.

Any female adult can use the FC. Even those who are allergic to the latex can comfortably use this without getting any irritation.

The FC has a shelf life of five years after it is manufactured. It is often made from the polyurethane material and as such, it is not easily affected by changes in temperature and humidity. This means, it does not require special storage conditions.

The female condom, despite the issues it went through in varied countries, provides both male and female adults additional options in protecting themselves during sexual intercourse. Currently, FC is well accepted in many areas of the world. The World Health Organization (WHO) has also given its approval for the purchase of FC2 by United Nations agencies. FHC also recently launched its free online training program for health care providers. This is in addition to the in-person trainings it started across the U.S. since 2009 to promote awareness on the female condoms. Company officials strongly believe that educating health care workers is an effective way of raising awareness on the product and its usage.

So if your partner is not the type who will use the male condom consistently, it might be a good idea to let him know about the FC.

 

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